Members of the public are encouraged to avoid the Palo Alto Flood Basin Thursday (March 26) morning as a helicopter applies an aerial mosquito treatment to the marshy and otherwise inaccessible area.
The application of Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti) will commence at approximately 7:30 a.m. and last a few hours, according to the Santa Clara County Vector Control District. The site is off East Bayshore Road not far from where it intersects San Antonio Road in Mountain View. The area is popular with cyclists and walkers using the Adobe Creek Loop Trail, but marsh trails will be off-limits during the treatment.
Bti is a naturally occurring soil bacterium that specifically targets salt marsh mosquitoes (Aedes squamiger), preventing them from becoming adults and turning into “vicious” daytime biting pests, a district press release said. It is considered “eco-friendly” and is not harmful to humans, wildlife or other insects.
“Recent rains have provided the ideal environment for mosquito larvae to develop in hard to reach areas of the marsh,” said Vector Control District Manager Nayer Zahiri, according the release. “These treatments will help reduce adult mosquito populations in the area.”
Santa Clara County has used similar methods to safely fight mosquitoes since 1992; the district last treated the flood basin Feb. 12.
Santa Clara County residents are encouraged to report mosquito-breeding sources and to safeguard themselves by dumping standing water, wearing long sleeves and pants and using insect repellent.
For free assistance with mosquito control, contact the district office by calling (408) 918-4770 or fill out a service request online.