Mosquito Spraying Continues

September 13, 2004, 12:00 AM By Bill Silverfarb, Daily Journal Staff

The San Mateo County Mosquito Abatement District will sweep hot spots in San Bruno by helicopter Monday morning to eradicate two or three species that dwell in the thick marsh between the Belle Aire neighborhood and Highway 101.

Mosquito season lasts until the end of October and the helicopter sweep is routine for areas where the fog is especially thick, said James Counts, program director at the mosquito district.

"It's much more effective to use the helicopter to spray than to do it by hand and there are endangered species in the area we don't want to interrupt," Counts said.

Also on Monday, Counts is scheduled to meet with the property managers at Edgewater Isle in San Mateo to inspect drains.

Edgewater Isle resident Moxi Posner, 65, informed the mosquito district that excess watering led to soil erosion and clogged drains along the lagoon -- that makes conditions ripe for mosquito breeding.

"There's standing water everywhere and I'm concerned about West Nile virus for my health," Posner said.

Posner was bitten by a mosquito in June and ended up in the hospital because her face was swollen do to an allergy.

The woman resorted to spreading redwood chips on the damp grass around her home to soak up excess water.

Last week, Posner sent a letter to the homeowners' association to point out the problem and alert management to take action.

The mosquito district routinely sprays the areas in San Mateo, Foster City and Redwood Shores, Counts said.

"I'd say we have eliminated 85 percent of the mosquito population in the area," Counts said. "We have instructed all the properties along the lagoon to cut back on watering."

Property managers and homeowners habitually overwater the grass on the premise to leak out the salts to keep the grass green, Counts said.

The practice can lead to favorable conditions for mosquito breeding, but Edgewater Isle is in compliance, Counts said.

As of Friday, a total of 486 West Nile virus infections were reported from 16 counties, according to the California Department of Health Services. There have been 13 West Nile virus-related deaths to date in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernadino and Riverside counties.

Bill Silverfarb can be reached by e-mail at silverfarb at smdailyjournal dot com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 109. What do you think of this story? Send a letter to the editor:


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