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With the national increase in , we would like to assure you and the residents of Albany, that we have a robust mosquito surveillance and control program in Albany.
When West Nile Virus was first detected in California in 2003, we began formalizing our mosquito-borne disease surveillance program in Albany, and it was launched in 2004, since a potential disease threat was on the horizon.
The basic component was the addition of 10 active EVS (Encephalitis Vector Survey) traps, that were place in a grid throughout the Albany community (see attached map). These traps were to collect mosquitoes, lured into the traps by sublimated carbon dioxide from dry ice. These mosquitoes are then sent in “pools” to the UC Davis: Arbovirus Laboratory for testing (we never had a positive mosquito pool, or dead bird).
We did learn a lot about the mosquitoes in Albany—the various species present, and that the numbers were very low. Most of the traps were placed on residential property, at the middle school, and on the grounds of a day care center. The mosquito numbers are usually very low, and even when some were caught, the residents do not report seeing mosquitoes. Albany is uniquely situated and not conducive to a large mosquito population, or the transmission of mosquito-borne disease (but never say never).
We focus on larval control, and never had to “spray” or “fog” to control adult mosquitoes in Albany. The larval control consists of draining mosquito breeding sites, or the use of bio-rational, such as Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti)—a naturally occurring soil bacterium, and to date these integrated pest management (IPM) practices have been very effective.
We do provide mosquito fish to resident that have ponds.
For more information, please see our web page.
And our annual report gives a picture of our yearly activities. In 2011 we only caught 287 mosquitoes, and the trap locations were selected to survey optimal mosquito habitat. One fortunate fact is that the mosquitoes in Albany prefer to feed on birds (please see page 13).
--Daniel Wilson, Community Relations Coordinator
Alameda County Department of Environmental Health