By the Daily Post staff
A county helicopter will spray for mosquitoes Wednesday (Feb. 14) in Palo Alto’s Baylands Nature Preserve.
Starting at 7:30 a.m., the county’s Vector Control District will apply naturally occurring microbes and a mosquito-specific hormone to the area east of Highway 101 and south of Embarcadero Road.
The microbes and hormones, which have been used annually since 1992, don’t stay in the environment for long and are not harmful to humans, wildlife or other insects, the vector district said.
The “winter salt marsh mosquito” lays its eggs in the moist soil in late spring and early summer.
The district has been monitoring the development of mosquito larvae in the area to be treated.
Unseasonably warm temperatures and lower water levels will likely lead to a significant number of salt marsh mosquitoes becoming adults in early to mid-March if left untreated, according to the district.
These mosquitoes are known to bite viciously during the day and can fly more than 15 miles from their breeding grounds.
“The aerial operations historically result in a 90% reduction in mosquito numbers, and dramatically reduce the extreme nuisance caused by these mosquitoes well into the summer,” said Vector Control District Manager Nayer Zahiri.
The helicopter may make low-altitude passes over trails surrounding the treatment area, so the public is advised to avoid areas where the helicopter is operating. More information about the mosquito treatment is available at sccvector.org.