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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | Countywide

Longtime Vector Control Chief Gil Challet Retires--to Study Insects

April 01, 1998|JOHN CANALIS

You may not know Gil Challet's name, but for nearly 30 years he has been controlling Orange County's rodent and bug populations.

Challet, head of the Orange County Vector Control District since 1974, retired Tuesday to pursue independent research on diving beetles in Brazil and other parts of Latin America, a personal interest that blossomed while working for the district. The beetles feast on mosquito larvae.

During his tenure, Challet, 57, oversaw efforts to keep down mosquito populations and to stop the spread of Lyme disease and hantavirus.

"Our claim to fame is we get ideas from other people and improve on them," he said.

Before joining vector control in 1969, Challet worked for two years with the Los Angeles County Agriculture Department and taught at UC Riverside.

Sobert Sjogren, 57, district manager of the Metropolitan Mosquito Control Commission in Minneapolis, will succeed Challet.

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