Santa Clara County to begin spraying for dangerous non-native mosquitos

An invasive mosquito is taking a concerning hold in Santa Clara County. The non-native mosquitoes were first discovered earlier this year and efforts to eradicate them so far have been unsuccessful. On Friday, the county announced it is moving to the next phase, which will involve daytime spraying in the impacted East San Jose neighborhood.

The mosquitoes, called Aedes Ageypti, are active during the day.  So, starting next week, a special spray truck will be driving through the neighborhoods and spraying what is called a "bacterial larvicide" which is designed to kill the larvae of the mosquitoes and to stop their reproduction. 

"As of April our surveillance team has found 12 mosquitoes which pose a significant public risk to our community," said Edgar Nolasco, the director of the Santa Clara County Consumer and Environmental Protection Agency. 

Nobody knows how these mosquitoes arrived here, but the fact that they are taking hold in a residential neighborhood is of particular concern.  "The mosquito is known to transmit diseases like Zika, yellow fever, chikungunya, and dengue," said Dr. Monika Roy with Santa Clara County Public Health.

Dr. Roy said stopping the mosquito now is important for long term public health. "If the mosquito were to become established, this would pose a risk to everyone in our community but would be particularly concerning for our pregnant people, elderly family members, and those with compromised immune systems," Roy said.

At any given time, there are between 30 and 45 traps in this neighborhood. They are checked every day and any contents taken to a lab for analysis, and then moved to different locations to get the widest possible sample. 

Resident Shu Teng lives across the street from one of the recent trap locations and said she is OK with the plan for spraying due to the public danger posed by the mosquitoes. "I am glad they are doing it," Teng said. 

Vector Control will be holding a public hearing on Tuesday, May 28, at the Alum Rock Library at 6 p.m. to inform residents about the treatment plan. The spraying is expected to start at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 29.


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