The Santa Clara County Vector Control District (SCCVCD) has just announced that a helicopter will be used to spray for mosquitos at the Palo Alto Baylands beginning Thursday morning.
On Aug. 23 at 7 a.m., the SCCVCD will target the "summer salt marsh mosquito," or Aedes dorsali, which hasn't been shown to transmit the West Nile Virus, according to a press release. However, these mosquitoes have a vicious bite, and can fly up to five miles from their breeding grounds to feed on humans and other mammals, the SCCVCD added.
Weather permitting, this aerial method will help cover more extensive and difficult areas to treat from the ground. Between 150 to 400 acres will be sprayed.
"The application poses minimal risk of human exposure or adverse health effects and there are no residences or businesses within the area to be treated," the press release stated.
The "summer salt marsh mosquito" lays its eggs in the moist soil just above the water line. These eggs can lay dormant for many years, but a breached tide wall in the Palo Alto Baylands has created ideal conditions for the breeding of the mosquitoes by allowing water levels in the basin to rise and fall.
The SCCVCD has closely monitored the development of mosquito larvae, and current field conditions have produced a continued egg-hatch. Recent adult "fly-offs" have created considerable discomfort for residents and businesses in nearby areas.
The SCCVCD will use two environmentally safe products: methoprene, an insect growth regulator; and Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti)--a natural bacteria that, when consumed by mosquito larvae, activates an insecticidal protein that kills the larvae.
According to the SCCVD, these mosquito-specific products do not live long in the environment; they effectively control the immature (aquatic stage) mosquitoes, but are not harmful to birds, fish, other insects, wildlife, or humans.
Unlike the ultra-low volume aerosol , these applications will be applied at ten gallons of water per acre to maximize delivery of the control products into the marsh habitat. More information about these products is available at www.sccVector.org.
Access to the baylands will be restricted during aerial applications, but open to the public immediately afterward.
VCD continues to encourage residents to report mosquito-breeding sources and take preventive measures, such as wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and applying repellent when outdoors where mosquitoes are biting.
For more information about mosquito prevention, go to sccVector.org or call (408) 918.4770.
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