Cape Cod Mosquito Control Project (C.C.M.C.P.) was organized in 1928. Since its
organization the C.C.M.C.P. has tried to use the most effective, yet least
environmentally invasive mosquito control techniques. The control plan follows the fundamental
concepts described by the phrase Integrated Pest Management. Integrated
pest management (IPM) simply stated is the combination of mechanical, cultural,
and biological controls to keep pest populations low enough to prevent
intolerable damage or annoyance. While
the C.C.M.C.P. has utilized this concept from its inception, we feel it is
important to put our current policy into writing.
IPM program is composed of the following four basic components: 1.
inspection, 2. pest threshold, 3.
application, and 4. monitoring. As the C.C.M.C.P. concentrates on controlling
mosquitoes in their immature stages, the IPM policy will only deal with the
control of mosquitoes in their larval and pupal stages.
is the first step toward solving a pest problem. The inspection can take various forms. During the mosquito season, on a daily basis,
crews from the C.C.M.C.P. conduct larval surveys. This means that all sites that have been
known to contain mosquitoes in the past are checked for the presence of
mosquito larvae. This is accomplished
through the use of a standard dipper (350 ml).
Other methods of direct inspection include searching for new larval
habitats (i.e. artificial containers) and developing mosquito habitats (i.e.
water that has been blocked from running).
Landing rates of adult mosquitoes are also noted. Further, light traps are placed at various
locations around the county. Mosquitoes
are removed from the light traps, counted, and identified. Finally, although it can be subjective,
discussing the level of the problem with people in the area can help in a pest
refers to the level at which any increases in the pest population will cause
damage or annoyance. That is how many
mosquitoes can be tolerated before action is taken to reduce the
population. This is a very difficult
term to define as it relates to mosquito control. Many factors must be taken into account
before determining the pest threshold.
Most important is the history of the site. Changes in the species composition and
environmental conditions must be taken into consideration. Human population density is another
significant factor. The following
general threshold levels for treatment are currently being utilized:
tolerance (i.e. any larvae found are destroyed)
is accepted when the area has a high
human density, especially areas where children
spend time outdoors. Zero tolerance is also accepted when dealing with salt
marsh mosquitoes. As salt marsh
mosquitoes will fly great distances
to find a host and develop very
quickly, these mosquito larvae are destroyed immediately without regard to the
tolerance is acceptable in other situations. In areas of low human population density, at least 10 dips are
taken. If there are more than 5 mosquito larvae per dip an application
application of choice is source reduction.
Mosquitoes only develop in standing water, so if standing water is
reduced or removed so is the mosquito population. Source reduction can be accomplished through
a variety of methods. The method used
depends on the source of the problem. In
cases where artificial containers are concerned (tires, buckets, boats, etc.),
education can be the most important method of source reduction. Once people realize where the mosquitoes are
coming from they can then keep mosquitoes from developing on their own
property. The other methods of source
reduction concern the work done to keep water moving. Opening ditches, pipes, culverts, etc. allows
water to continue flowing and reduces the habitat in which mosquito larvae
source reduction is the preferred application choice, there are some
circumstances where removing standing water would be impractical. In these cases a larvicide is used. The type of larvicide used to control the mosquitoes
will depend upon the developmental stage the insects have reached when
discovered. Larvae in the 1-3 instar
stages are treated with either Bti (
a bacteria) or in a catch basin environment Bacillus
sphaericus in water soluble pouches.
Fourth instar mosquito larvae and pupae must be treated using a
different method, as the larvicides already mentioned are not able to affect
their development at these stages. A
light mineral oil is applied in cases where the mosquitoes have developed past
the 3 instar stage. Finally,
there are circumstances where no application is required. In some cases even though a few mosquito
larvae are found, the population does not reach pest threshold. Populations below the pest threshold are not
is a major part of any IPM program. Adult mosquitoes are monitored with the use
of carbon dioxide light traps. These
traps are run once a week. Mosquitoes collected from these traps are taken back
to the lab where they are counted and identified to species. Mosquito larvae and pupae are monitored on a
regular basis by the field crews. All
sites identified as potential mosquito habitat have been logged and recorded in
our GIS system. Throughout the mosquito
season, sites are checked on two week rotations. Any reapplication or source reduction work is
completed or noted for future completion.
equine encephalitis surveillance has been a part of our program for over 30
years. Mosquitoes are trapped using both
light traps and resting boxes. Specimens
are identified then transported to the Massachusetts Department of Public
Health for testing. In 2000, the C.C.M.C.P. instituted an expanded arbovirus
surveillance program to include the trapping of mosquitoes for West Nile Virus
(WNV). The C.C.M.C.P. has built CDC type
gravid traps that are placed in 14 locations around Barnstable County.
stated IPM program is carried out by the 26 full-time employees of the
C.C.M.C.P. The larval surveys and
pesticides application are completed by 10, 2 person field crews. Each crew has responsibility for mosquito
control in one specific area of Barnstable
County. These crews work in the same area year after
year. Crew members have spent an average
of 10 years in their respective area. In
addition to the 20 field crew members the project employs a carpenter, an administrative assistant / dispatcher, a GIS data assistant, and a field supervisor, plus seasonal employees as needed. Everyone is under the direct supervision of the assistant superintendent
and superintendent. Field
crews communicate with the administration daily through a two-way radio system
run by the admin./dispatcher. The
crews call in to the office four times a day.
They give their location and a short description of the work they are
completing. Crews enter data in real time into and arcGIS collector program and call in a summary of the days work at the end of each work day.