Marsh mosquitoes making a comeback in Palo Alto

August 17, 2012 1:19:42 AM PDT
Marsh mosquitoes are making a comeback in Palo Alto and they are feasting on humans. The mosquitoes have invaded a five-mile radius around the Baylands Nature Preserve.

In parts of Palo Alto it's not hard to find people complaining about the same thing.

"I've noticed a huge increase in mosquitoes, in my house, outside, basically everywhere," Palo Alto resident Brett Remmel said.

Millions of salt marsh mosquitoes are invading an area centered around the Palo Alto flood basin. This specific mosquito has been dormant for more than 20 years, but a broken flood gate has brought water and life to eggs that were laid in the 90s around the marsh land.

"When the water hits them, just like those big eggs in the Alien movies, they go right into action," Santa Clara County Vector Control spokesperson Russ Parman said.

Though they don't carry the West Nile virus, the mosquitoes are aggressive. They attack day and night.

"They can actually, in live stock situations, they can actually reduce the weight and health of live stock," Parman said.

The county water district is trying to fix the broken flood gate, but in the meantime, Santa Clara County Vector Control is trying to control this problem. Their best bet is to kill the mosquito eggs through ground poison and aerial spraying. There isn't much they can do about the adult mosquitoes biting right now.

At the nearby Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course, golfers are miserable.

"Notice when I'm golfing they would attack my face when I'm swinging and everything; it's pretty bad," golfer Bob Franklin said.

Vector Control officials say the mosquito population has come down a lot in the past two weeks but they are still considering fogging specific areas like the golf course.


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