Prevent the Biting and Breeding of Mosquitoes
It wouldn’t be summer without mosquitoes. Usually their mildly annoying bite creates a tiny bump and a couple days of scratching. But, they are also carriers of the West Nile Virus, which can be found in dead birds, squirrels and other small animals.
While these cases are rare in San Mateo and throughout the Bay Area, it’s important to know what you can do to prevent mosquitoes from biting and breeding around your home.
Follow the “Three D’s” as outlined by the San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District (SMCMVCD).
DRAIN – Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flower pots, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls.
DAWN & DUSK – Mosquitos bite in the early morning and evening. It is important to wear proper clothing and repellent if outside during these times. Make sure that your doors and windows have tight fitting screens to keep mosquitoes out.
DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 according to label instructions. Repellents keep the mosquitoes from biting you. DEET can be used safely on infants and children 2 months of age and older.
A word about spraying
No cases of West Nile Virus have been detected in San Mateo this summer, but they have occurred in the past. If one should occur this summer, the San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District (SMCMVCD) will spray an area when a pool of mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile Virus is detected.
They will conduct a truck-mounted mosquito fogging within a half-mile radius of the detection site from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active. This ground spray is conducted between the hours of 9:00pm and 5:00am.
According to the SMCMVCD, the chemical currently being used to treat an area is Zenivex E4. It is an oil based formula that is EPA approved to be safe for use in an urban environment.
There are no precautionary measures that need to be taken by residents within the fogging area.
Help Control Mosquitoes
If you should notice the carcass of a bird or squirrel, please report it to the West Nile virus hotline either online at www.westnile.ca.gov or by calling 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473).
The City of San Mateo and the County Mosquito and Vector District encourage residents to help control mosquitoes and the spread of the West Nile virus. Taking the time to report these instances is a proactive preventative measure to take. And, it will help to ensure that the San Mateo community can safely enjoy their summer!