Vector Control Fogs Mountain View, Los Altos Overnight

Officials say the substance used is only toxic to mosquitoes and does not pose safety hazards for residents or the environment.


A dead bird found on Grant Road near El Camino Hospital - infected by a mosquito carrying West Nile virus - prompted four crews from the Santa Clara County Vector Control District Tuesday night to fog a large of area of Mountain View and portions of Los Altos, an operation that extended into the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Portions of Mountain View and Los Altos have seen an increase in mosquito activity lately, and West Nile virus was found in some adult mosquitoes less than a mile away, near the intersection of Cuesta Drive and Miramonte Road, according to Santa Clara County Vector Control District spokesman Bob Kaufman.

The fogging began around 11 p.m. and lasted for about four hours in an area roughly bordered by Villa Street and Escuela Avenue on the north; Clark Avenue, Verano Drive, North Gordon Way, South El Monte Avenue and Campbell Avenue on the west; state Highway 85 and Sun Mor Avenue on the east; and Covington Road and Levin Avenue on the south.

Kaufman said the substance sprayed - Zenivex - is only toxic to mosquitoes and was sprayed at less than an ounce per acre.

About a quarter of the area targeted Tuesday night was previously fogged during an operation on Aug. 9, Kaufman said.

He said that said after a fogging, adult mosquito populations usually decrease by about 80 percent, which, in turn, helps decrease the odds of West Nile virus spreading to humans.

"If there's less mosquitoes flying around ... that's going to reduce the chances," Kaufman said.

He said the vector control district keeps a close eye on larvae sites and monitors buckled curbs and streets where water can pool and provide a mosquito breeding ground.

Residents are asked to drain any standing water around their homes, and properly maintain their swimming pools.

Kaufman said that although West Nile virus activity is on the rise nationwide this year, Santa Clara County appears to be seeing only average activity.

Last year, the district conducted four sprayings. Last night's fogging was the second of the year. Kaufman is not yet sure if the District will need to fog again.

District officials said the ultra-low concentration sprayings do not pose safety hazards for residents or the environment.

-Bay City News contributed to this article.

kd September 05, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Looks like the paper listing the hazards of Zenivex E4 is several pages long (photo 2). It would be nice to be able to read it all. Can someone post it as an attachment if they have it? Thank you.
Dave Colby September 05, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Hi kd, Here's a link from Santa Clara County's website that details the data sheet for Zenivex E4 RTU: http://www.sccgov.org/sites/vector/Documents/2012.Zenivex%20E4%20MSDS.pdf
kd September 06, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Thank you Dave Colby for the link. It appears to contradict the claims below. "District officials said the ultra-low concentration sprayings do not pose safety hazards for residents or the environment. Kaufman said the substance sprayed - Zenivex - is only toxic to mosquitoes and was sprayed at less than an ounce per acre." The data sheet says it is toxic to aquatic animals (at minute levels of parts per billions) and especially bees. It also induced thyroid and liver toxicity in rats. I guess now the people of Los Altos are unwiilling experimental subjects to see what will happen in humans.
keep public safe September 06, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Theres always someone like kd in the bunch. Look under your bathroom and kitchen cabinet and read the labels of your cleaning chemicals. Even over the counter medicine can cause health problems. Call poison control if you are concerned, instead of bitch about using safe and effective mehods to protect you, and the publics health. Westnile virus can kill you. Or just stay in your bubble.
Margaret Harada Mori September 07, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Many parents & consumers choose NOT to use "chemically-based" cleansers, & if they do, they keep them out of reach. Schools are required to lock the chemicals away, as are many businesses. But the issue here is that an individual can CHOOSE to purchase chemically-based products to use in their homes..but none of us in this entire county can choose NOT to breathe when pesticides are broadcast in our air. It is not a individual consumer's product used in their own house. This is a product applied to every living thing in our county. The virus may kill someone, but more people are likely to have serious pneumonia, cancer, asthma this year...and Vector is not going to pay for their care: why? Because the care is not fueled by chemical corporation profit. Poison control, Vector, our Health Dept., & the chemical corporations who designed these chemicals...can NOT treat pesticide-related reactions. No one takes a chemical cleansing product & sprays it at their neighbors or their neighbors' pets & yards...if they do, they're in trouble. Please re-read the articles which are sincerely meant from people who are taking their own time, energy, money to try & keep us all safe. Lastly, there are proven safer alternatives to preventing mosquitoes carrying the virus. Why not aim for what's safest, and most effective?


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