Animals and Insects of Medical Importance

Cochroach on a patio deck

Santa Clara County is home to many animals and insects, capable of causing not only discomfort to its residents, but also illness or injury. The County offers a variety of services and information to help residents protect themselves and their families from these animals and insects of medical importance (vectors).

Mosquitoes are capable of transmitting diseases such as West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever and Malaria. Many residents are unaware that they may be the source of  mosquitoes in their neighborhood. To find out more about mosquitoes & where they may be developing in your yard, see the attachment labeled "Mosquito Brochure" on the Vector Control District website.

Rats and mice constitute an ongoing problem to residents in Santa Clara County. Rodents, especially roof rats are common co-inhabitants in our homes. Not only are they capable of transmitting diseases such as Salmonella, rat bite fever and Leptospira, but they can also do considerable damage by gnawing, defecating  or urinating on  personal property. To find out how you can keep rodents from moving in with you and what to do if you already have them see the "Rat Brochure" on the Vector Control District website.

Although cockroaches haven’t proven to be a source of disease transmission in Santa Clara County, they do cause great discomfort to many residents. To find out how to prevent cockroaches from getting into your home and what to do if they are already there, see the "Oriental Cockroach Brochure" attachment below.

A mosquito about to bite a humn

Environmental changes and continued urban growth in Santa Clara County have resulted in an increase in interaction between residents and wildlife. While fascinating in their natural environment, "urbanized" wildlife has modified its behavior, becoming less fearful of humans and in some instances, more aggressive or defensive. This behavior change increases the chances of interaction with humans and pets, raising the potential for property damage and health threats. If you are having problems with wildlife taking up residency in your home,  or have questions regarding wildlife in your neighborhood, there are free home and yard consultations available to all Santa Clara County residents for rodent, wildlife and mosquito problems by the Santa Clara County Vector Control District. To request a free consultation call 408-918-4770 or 800-675-1155.

For more information on diseases such as West Nile Virus and Lyme disease or on prevention and protection against yellow jackets, ticks,  head lice, Africanized Honey bees (aka “killer bees”), or Red Imported Fire Ants,  visit the County’s Vector Control District’s web site or call 408-918-4770 or 800-675-1155.

To report other issues or for More Information Please Contact:

The U.C. Cooperative Extension Service

Master Gardeners
1553 Berger Drive
San Jose, CA 95112
Phone: (408) 282-3110

Santa Clara County Division of Agriculture    
1553 Berger Drive
San Jose, CA 95112
Phone: (408) 918-4600

If you find an unusual insect or spider, and you are unable to identify it using the Internet or other resources, you can bring it to our office for identification.  The Master Gardener's (University of  California, Cooperative Extension Service) also have a desk in our office available for identification and garden questions./p>

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