Marsh mosquitoes invade Palo Alto Palo Alto Issues, posted by Editor, Palo Alto Online, on Aug 15, 2012 at 9:32 am
Like the offspring in alien movies, mosquito eggs that have lain dormant in the Palo Alto Baylands mud for 10 to 15 years have been hatching en masse for the past three weeks -- thanks to a broken flood gate, according to Santa Clara County Vector Control officials.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 8:54 AM
Posted by Mosquito Food, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Aug 15, 2012 at 10:41 am
I got 3 bites on my hand while walking the dog. What surprised me was being bitten during the day. I get bites periodically when I walk at dusk, but this was mid morning. They itch like hell and made my fingers swell.
Posted by Noel, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Aug 15, 2012 at 11:11 am
According to the Center for Disease Control, "There is no credible evidence that Lyme disease can be transmitted through air, food, water, or from the bites of mosquitoes, flies, fleas, or lice." There are Lyme carrying ticks in parts of CA near the Bay Area so you should always check yourself after hiking. But no worries about Lyme from mosquitoes!
Posted by Chris S, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Aug 15, 2012 at 11:18 am
Thanks for the article. On a recent walk with my dog at dusk I must have had 10 bites. I was concerned that the mosquitos were following me from Minnesota, where I grew up. Once the problem with the flood gate is corrected, the mosquitos will disappear and I can go back to enjoying my bug-free walks.
Posted by pbisis, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Aug 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm
I am outdoors all the time at the Baylands and in my garden, and I strongly oppose spraying when there is no evidence these mosquitos are carrying any disease. A nuisance, sure, but apply your own insecticide rather subjecting everyone and everything to spraying.
Posted by Barb, a resident of the Leland Manor/Garland Drive neighborhood, on Aug 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm
DO NOT SPRAY, it causes cancer. If they are bothering you, eat alot of garlic! I kid you not, the smell then emanates from your pores and they stay away. In contrast, if you eat alot of sugar regularly in your diet, they seem to know that as well, and you will be attacked!.
Posted by Mosquito Food, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Aug 15, 2012 at 8:18 pm
We've been spraying pesticides on our food, and doing mosquito abatement for a long time. It's not like the effects aren't well understood. It would be an ivory tower elitist that cries for organic certifications of a swamp.
Posted by lots of leg bits, a member of the JLS Middle School community, on Aug 15, 2012 at 11:57 pm
We had the same experience!! Bites on the ankles and calves, which I thought at first were flea bites. It's probably because the landscaping watering is down there...
Lyme disease bacteria have been found in mosquito saliva and system, but doesn't survive and transmit as disease as far as anyone knows, i.e., mosquitoes are not Lyme vectors even though they have been found to be carrying live spirochetes.
Refer to research papers at the bottom of this well-written blog post
Posted by Allergic to the Suckers, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 16, 2012 at 2:08 am
Hey, pbisis and Barb, if you don't want to spray, can I send my mosquitoes to your house instead? I got a bite about three days ago *inside my house* — and yes, we have screens on all windows and doors. (I saw the bugger fly in front of my computer screen immediately afterward, and I think I managed to swat it.)
I smell so good to these guys that they'll find me even when no one else gets bit, and then I have to take extra antihistamine at night for days afterward in order to be able to sleep through the itching. I'm sure I'm not the only one around here with a mosquito allergy.
So, I hope the spraying of the marshlands for these guys takes place soon and often. (And Barb, I love garlic and eat a lot of it anyway. From what I've read, its effect as an insect repellent is unfortunately just an old wives' tale.)
Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto, on Aug 16, 2012 at 10:47 am
Yes they are low flying, low biting. We had a chance to really observe them in action late afternoon yesterday. Reminded me how good mosquito abatement has been as we haven't had to use any mosquito deterrent on ourselves in years. I've seen them this week in grassy areas at Stanford, too.
Posted by Effective Advocacy is More productive than whining, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm
Do something productive if you are going to take time to write. Write a POLITE letter to Santa Clara County Vector Control and Santa Clara Valley Water District requesting prioritization of this repair. Clearly, there was some maintenance oversight. Support the city's effort to get resources applied to solving this problem.
Don't whine in a forum that no one with any decision-making authority reads. This is a democracy. Your work as a citizen is more productive if you write to the elected and appointed representatives who are making decisions.
Be an effective and reponsible citizen. Stop whining. Proactive problem-solving is more grown-up behavior than finger pointing and kvetching.
Posted by skeeter fodder, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 16, 2012 at 12:57 pm
"to lay 100's of eggs"? try MILLIONS! one female mosquito can lay 1500 - 3000 eggs over her lifetime...how many female mosquitoes do you think there are? if there were only 1000 that could mean 3,000,000 eggs!
Posted by Local, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 16, 2012 at 10:39 pm
I know they don't carry malaria, but what about similar diseases? I have had a tick-borne disease called babesiosis that I'm told is "malaria-like". People have died from getting transfusions and transplants from babesia infected blood. I have been treated and as far as I know I am not infectious, but I also am not allowed to ever donate blood again. Lots of small mammals carry this disease. You can contract and not know you have it until immune compromised, when it can be deadly. Looking for the same reassurance as above that mosquitoes can't transmit it.
Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto, on Aug 17, 2012 at 10:37 am
Local - as informed as many are here, why would your rely on what we'd tell you about babesiosis? You'd have better luck w/a medical website or better yet - a doctor well-versed in tick-borne diseases. That in itself can be a trial, since there are controversial aspects of identifying & treating them. But if I were in your shoes, I'd research if on my own & then call the doc who treated me for babesiosis for the final word.
Posted by Local, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm
Well, in answer to your question, sometimes people who know a lot about an issue answer a question posted online and provide very helpful links I haven't been able to find on my own. It isn't all people expressing opinions when they know nothing and have nothing constructive to add.
Medical doctors are not entomologists. I don't even get a consistent answer from medical sources about why I can't donate blood or tissue because of having had this disease even though the test is now negative.
I have read that the rate of infection by this disease among small mammals in the Bay Area is far higher than the rate infected by Lyme disease. Again, it's a "malaria-like" disease - what does that mean? Can mosquitoes transmit it?
Posted by Old Hand, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 18, 2012 at 7:21 pm
Benydryl in a tube in my car and in my pocket while dog walking helps a lot - use it fast and the bite sites don't get big and fade in a day or two.
So..... two local agencies squabbling over how and when to fix a very serious problem while several towns' residents pay a very itchy price.... Shades of the San Francisquito Creek Fiasco.
I remember the malathion helo night flights -without lights years ago during the fruit fly outbreak. Spraying for mosquitos? It's best as spot application and getting the word out for all to get rid of any standing water everywhere.
Time for us to check for standing water on our properties and be ready to vote out the incumbants in November who allow these fiascos year... after year... after year.
Posted by Call!, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 19, 2012 at 7:54 am
Flood their phone lines!! I've called the mayors office, city councils offices, and the vector control office several times today. Speak up and let them know that they are accountable for this. No more high pay and benefits!! They work for us!
Posted by Emily G, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Aug 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm
I play with my kids outside all day and they have been getting bites the size of dimes all over their bodies! It's like being in the forest! Thank you for telling us what is going on!!! PLEASE TAKE CARE OF THIS!