by By Patrick Linn, MS, MSHAPI Executive Director, Collier Mosquito Control District
With more than 40 species of mosquitoes in Collier County, our research in understanding their biology, seasonal activity, and resistance to insecticides are key to fulfilling our mission of controlling both disease-carrying and nuisance mosquitoes.
From the salt marsh mosquitoes that migrate into the area from outside the District in the spring, to the fresh-water mosquitoes that are prevalent during the summer rainy season, mosquito control is a year-round necessity in Southwest Florida. The impact of not controlling mosquitoes in Collier County would
exert significant negative effects on public health, tourism, and the larger economy. During recent years, we’ve seen a rapid evolution of mosquito control efforts thanks to sound science and technological advancements.
Refinements in strategy, techniques, and control materials are all contributing to a more effective, environmentally responsible future. The Collier Mosquito Control District investigates and uses only EPA -approved materials as part of our integrated mosquito management program (IMM), that when used as directed, do not pose an unreasonable risk to humans, non-target organisms and the environment.
Per the best practices of all IMM programs, we rotate the use of control materials to prevent mosquitoes from developing resistance to their effectiveness.
The variety of control materials we employ target mosquitoes during both their larval and adult stages, and each material is fully approved by the EPA for use in mosquito control. To interrupt the mosquitoes’ life cycle, the District relies on larviciding materials which target mosquito larvae in their aquatic
habitats. These larvicides are natural products that do not impact non-target insects, animals, aquaculture or humans.
We use granular Today’s mosquito control materials are sound science in action larvicide materials via aerial applications and liquid larvicides dispersed from our Buffalo Turbine truck. During 2018, we treated more than 15,000 acres with larvicides, increasing our material use by some 300 percent.
The District controls adult mosquitoes by applying materials via aerial or ground applications when our surveillance program indicates large populations of mosquitoes or if disease is detected in mosquito
Importantly, our research team conducts real-time genetic tests in-house for the presence of disease in local mosquito populations every week. Currently, we use Anvil, Dibrom, and Merus to control adult
mosquitoes. When applying these materials aerially, we disperse them via an ultra-low volume (ULV) system. For example, the ULV aerial treatment of Dibrom is approximately one-half ounce (approximately two teaspoons) of control material per acre.
Rotary atomizers on our aerial fleet disperse an ultra-low volume mist with droplets measured in microns –thousands of times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. These minute droplets target mosquitoes
in flight and the materials degrade quickly in the environment. For a complete list of control materials used by the District in its IMM program, please see our website at cmcd.org.
To learn more about the District’s operations, public tours are available. Included are presentations by our research team in the laboratory, our operations/surveillance team, and a visit to the hangar. We also make arrangements for staff to conduct presentations at group meetings. Please call our office at (239) 436-1000 to schedule a tour or if we can provide more information.