The Mosquito Abatement Courier Team was formed in 2005 as a response to the rapid spread of the West Nile virus in California. It was made possible through the partnership between the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and Pestec, an Integrated Pest Management company, the program’s host. West Nile virus is an arbovirus spread by infected mosquitoes. The first reported case of West Nile Virus in the U.S. was in 1999 in New York and it appeared in California two years later. According to the Center for Disease Control, West Nile Virus in the U.S. has claimed 1,911 lives from 1999-2015. From 2003 to 2016 there have been over 6,000 human cases of West Nile Virus within the State of California. In the same period there were 248 West Nile Virus related fatalities statewide.
The team bikes and walks throughout the city from mid-February through October 31st to:
A vital part of a successful mosquito abatement program is public awareness. Several times a day Mosquito Abatement Courier Team members have conversations with San Francisco residents explaining what they are doing and why. In those brief conversations we are able to educate residents about this proactive program as well as about where mosquitoes can breed and how we can prevent them.
Wastewater Enterprise is doing its part to Fight the Bite in San Francisco by proactively monitoring and treating the combined storm sewer system. The State of CA’s Fight the Bite Campaign urges California residents to report any mosquito activity as well as dead birds to their local vector control program. This campaign has helped to track mosquito borne diseases in mosquito and bird samples throughout the state. These samples are an absolute necessity in order to track disease activity in the mosquito and bird populations and ultimately help prevent such diseases from infecting people.