Summer has quickly come to an end, but luckily so will those pesky mosquitoes that wreaked havoc on your evening cookouts and outings this year. Planning now for a proactive mosquito control program for your community, golf course, municipality or commercial development, to begin early next spring, will help to make sure this was your community’s last season of uncontrollable swatting, spraying, itching, and beautiful evenings spent indoors, trying to avoid nuisance mosquitoes and the risk of harmful diseases like West Nile and encephalitis.
Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) is the term used to describe the comprehensive approach of managing mosquito populations to relieve nuisance and also protect public health. A proper IMM program uses various techniques, such as surveillance, source reduction, larviciding, adulticiding, resistance monitoring and public education in order to reduce mosquito numbers while maintaining a quality environment. Below are the main aspects of an IMM program:
1. Surveillance – Surveillance provides the data on which all IMM actions are taken and is therefore the backbone of an integrated approach to mosquito management. Using various types of traps, one can determine what species are present in a given area. Speciation is critical in order to determine where the mosquitoes are breeding and whether or not there is a disease risk. In addition, choices of control methods will be influenced by the species of mosquito that is present. Mosquito populations can be tracked over time to compare current data to historical numbers.
2. Physical Control or Source Reduction – Source reduction of larval environments can be an effective control measure and is an important component of an integrated approach. It can often be the most effective approach since you are eliminating breeding habitat. Dumping a birdbath, bucket, or kiddie pool that have larvae present, unclogging a rain gutter that is holding water, clearing a culvert so a ditch will flow more easily, and disposing of a tire pile are all examples of source reduction techniques. Although an important component, source reduction is not always feasible, particularly for certain habitats.
3. Larviciding – When source reduction is not feasible, it may be necessary to use larvicide to prevent the larval mosquitoes from hatching and becoming adults. Depending on the habitat and species, either biological or chemical control methods are options for controlling mosquito larvae.
4. Adulticiding – It is impossible to eliminate all breeding habitat or to control all mosquitoes before they become adults. Therefore, an important component of an IMM program is adulticiding, or the control of adult mosquitoes through the application of adulticides in an Ultra-Low-Volume application. Different species are active at different times of night and are susceptible to different adulticides, making your surveillance data extremely important for effective control of adult mosquitoes.
5. Resistance Monitoring – Mosquitoes are extremely adaptable and have several generations in only one summer, so they can develop resistance to pesticides. As a result, a critical component of an IMM program is the monitoring of such resistance. Through cage trials and bottle bioassays, one can determine whether a certain mosquito species is developing resistance to certain chemicals.
6. Public Education - Teaching people to be aware of potential mosquito breeding habitat in their area and showing them how to reduce or eliminate such habitat can help reduce mosquito breeding. Furthermore, educating the public on how to avoid mosquito bites can help prevent the spread of mosquito borne disease. Each interaction with the public is an opportunity to educate people about how to reduce mosquito habitat and how to protect themselves. Fliers and educational material can enhance this aspect of a larval control program.
7. Record keeping - Maintaining data is a critical component of an Integrated Mosquito Management program. GPS locations are important so that future technicians can access potential breeding sites. Maintaining data from year to year allows one to understand the trends in breeding. Data collection and maintenance is also needed for regulatory compliance.
SOLitude Lake Management has significant experience dealing with the management of mosquitoes in a wide variety of aquatic environments and offers the most ecologically balanced services available for mosquito control in and around your lake or pond. But if you are seeking large-scale mosquito control solutions for your community, business or an emergency response situation, our trusted partner, Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) can help. VDCI takes pride in providing communities, resorts, industrial and commercial sites, municipalities and mosquito abatement districts with the tools they need to run effective mosquito control programs. Determined to remove the nuisance, restore outdoor environments, and protect the public health of the communities they operate in, VDCI’s mosquito control professionals have more than 100 years of combined mosquito control experience, including extensive experience in operating comprehensive wide area Integrated Mosquito Management programs, as well as in disaster relief situations.
With many public health and quality of life risks for citizens and communities, communities, golf course and municipalities can benefit greatly by utilizing an experienced Integrated Mosquito Management partner for their mosquito control efforts.
Contact SOLitude Lake Management to speak with an expert biologist, ecologist or scientist for all of your lake, pond and fisheries management needs. 888-480-LAKE (5253) or firstname.lastname@example.org. Services, consultation and aquatic products offered nationwide.