Mosquito control makes up the largest part of our work. We use an integrated approach; some people call this IPM which stands for integrated pest management, IMM – integrated mosquito management or IVM – integrated vector management. This means that we use a variety of ways to gain control which includes surveillance, larvicidng, adulticiding, source reduction and education.
We use surveillance to see what kinds of mosquitoes and how many are in the area. The county is divided into more than 54 control areas or zones. Data is gathered from over 20 of the more populated zones using New Jersey light traps and rain gauges. We do West Nile Surveillance with SCDHEC’s Bureau of Laboratories where we submit mosquito samples taken with CDC and gravid traps as well as dead birds for disease analysis. This information helps us target our control efforts.
Larviciding is done across the county to attack the mosquito at the weakest point in its life cycle and to stop adult emergence. As sites are checked, they are recorded on area maps. These sites are treated throughout the mosquito season. Control is achieved through the use of larvicidal oils, mono-molecular films, biological products and mosquito fish.
Adulticiding uses ultra-low-volume (ULV) ground equipment to spray during nighttime hours to reduce the number of adult mosquitoes. We decide what areas to be spray based on our surveillance information. We normally spray permethrin or sometimes resmethrin from the trucks because they do not last long in the environment.
In areas where Tiger Mosquitoes are common, spraying is not the best way to gain control. Tiger Mosquitoes only breed in a container holding water, so we do surveys to find them and to teach residents about mosquito biology and prevention. This greatly improves the effectiveness of our spray missions.
We give presentations about vector topics to groups such as; Richland 101, Richland 101 for kids, homeowner associations, school groups, garden clubs, and church groups. These presentations teach residents what they can do to protect themselves and encourage people from the community to help us control their mosquito problems.
Mosquito complaint calls are taken through the summer. When a call is received an inspector is sent to try and find the source of the problem. We work with the citizens to show them how to protect themselves and keep mosquitoes from breeding at their home.