The Santa Clara County Vector Control District (SCCVCD) is planning a helicopter assault on winter salt-marsh mosquito in the Palo Alto marsh areas on Wednesday, Feb. 10, the district announced Friday.
Weather permitting, the aerial spraying is scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. and may continue in the afternoon, according to a press release. If needed, the treatment may be extended to the morning of Thursday, Feb. 11.
The areas being treated include the ITT marshland and the Palo Alto flood basin ==I (Click here to view the map of the area being sprayed)==
The helicopter may make low-altitude passes over trails around the treatment area, so residents
are advised to avoid the area being sprayed. Vector Control District (VCD) staff and signs will be posted at different locations around the treatment area to notify visitors about the scheduled treatment.
According to the VCD, approximately 725 acres will be treated with water-based formulations of environmentally safe products, including methoprene, an insect growth regulator and Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti), a natural bacteria that kills the larvea when consumed.
"These products are mosquito-specific and short-lived in the environment: they effectively control the immature (aquatic stage) mosquitoes, but are not harmful to birds, fish, other insects, wildlife, or humans," according to the press release.
The mosquito Aedes squamiger lays its eggs in the moist soil in late spring and early summer. The eggs can lay dormant for years, even after repeated flooding, according to the VCD. High tides and seasonal rains, coupled with short days and cooler winter temperatures, cause the eggs to hatch as early as November, according to VCD officials.
The mosquitoes can bite humans and other mammals viciously during the day, officials said. They can fly over 15 miles from its breeding grounds to feed.
The aerial treatment is intended to minimize the number of mosquitoes and reduce the risk of mosquito bites to residents in the surrounding communities. According to officials, the mosquito fly-off can affect residents from the north coastal areas of the county to as far south as the southernmost part of San Jose and east to Milpitas.
Residents are encouraged to report mosquito-breeding sources, and to take preventive measures like wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants and applying mosquito repellent when outdoors.
For more information, visit SCCvector.org or call 408-918-4770.