Plymouth County Mosquito Control Project
The Projectís activities fall into six categories
1. Disease Monitoring
Plymouth County Mosquito Control Project works closely with the Massachusetts Department or Public Health (DPH) to monitor West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus activity and to help determine the level of human risk. The Project runs traps for adult mosquitoes in areas we consider likely to have virus activity in mosquito populations. The mosquitoes collected are sent to DPH and tested for mosquito borne viruses.
2. Breeding Site Identification:
Project personnel identify and catalog suspected mosquito breeding sites. Once a site has been proven to breed mosquitoes, a decision is made on how to best treat the site. It will become part of the Site Reduction Program or the Larviciding Program. Breeding site cards are completed for each site identified. The cards include the following information: directions to the site, dates of site inspections, results of each observation (if mosquito larvae are found Ė species, number/dip, and stage of development), and what action was taken (was the site treated).
3. Site Reduction:
Breeding site reduction is the most effective strategy for reducing mosquito populations. This strategy may require hand-clearing a clogged stream or even the use of heavy digging equipment to remedy the problem.
The Project does not drain wetlands and will only clear or dig on sites that have been confirmed to breed mosquitoes. Restoring the flow of a small stream or removing a blockage in a drainage ditch are examples of appropriate Project activities in the Site Reduction Program.
Winter Site Reduction Work
Winter is a busy time for the Project doing site reduction work such as hand clearing streams and using the excavator to do ditch work.
important part of the breeding site reduction program is Open Marsh Water
Management (OMWM). This technique is used only on salt marshes. OMWM was
originally developed in New Jersey and is considered to be an environmentally
sensitive alternative to grid ditching salt marshes. OMWM holds water on the
marsh, improves fish habitat and reduces evasive vegetation. The heart of most
OMWM projects is the creation of ponds on the marsh that can be used by small
fish and wading birds. Ditches from the pond to areas that produce mosquitoes
allow the fish to eat the mosquito larvae when they are present. OMWM is an
important tool in areas where the goal is restoration as well as mosquito
Larviciding is the second most effective
strategy for reducing mosquito populations. Most breeding sites are not
appropriate for the site reduction strategy and as a result larviciding is the
Projectís primary strategy for controlling mosquito populations.
The Project uses a variety of equipment to larvicide areas that produce mosquitoes. Small sites can be treated by a Project worker using a hand-held pump can. They may also be treated using a specially equipped truck. The vehicle has a hydraulic sprayer and over 300 feet of hose, which enables it to treat most large breeding sites. However, most larviciding is done in the spring through the use of aircraft. Using aircraft we treat approximately 10,000 acres each year.
Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis), a biological insecticide, is the primary material used in the larviciding program. It is the only product used in our aerial program. Daily records and weekly summaries are kept for all larviciding activities.
Since no method of mosquito control is 100% effective, the Project sprays for adult mosquitoes. This strategy is employed at the request of individuals living in member communities. Individuals can call the Project, between 8:00am and 3:00pm on Monday through Friday, to request that their property be sprayed. The Projectís phone number is (781) 585-5450, fax (781)582-1276 or mail us at P.O. Box 72, Kingston, MA 02364. To find out where the spray routes are going to be call (617) 582-6219 (during spray season).
Project personnel spray for mosquitoes, using trucks, between the hours of 2:00am and 7:00am, Monday through Friday. The Project uses ultra low volume (ULV) sprayers, which allows minimal amounts of pesticide to be used.
As was the case with larviciding, daily records and weekly summaries are kept for all adulticiding work. These records are kept by community..
For more specific information on the pesticides used for adulticiding, visit our Pesticides page or call the project at 781-585-5450..
No Spray List:
Plymouth County Mosquito Control Project maintains a list of people who do not wish to be sprayed. The operation of our "No Spray" list is governed by the MA Department of Agriculture Resources: Pesticide Board under regulation 333 CMR 13.03. In order for residents to be put on the "No Spray" list a certified letter must be sent to your town clerk by March 1st, of every year. The application can only be made by a person living on or legally in control of the property. The letter should include the name, address, and telephone number of the person making the request, the address of the property to be excluded and a description of the types of pesticides for which they wish to be excluded. The excluded property must be marked with orange flagging every 50 ft. The flagging should be visible from the road at night. In the event of a public health emergency we can not honor the no spray list.
To see a copy of the regulations please visit: 333 CMR: MA Pesticide Board Standards for Application
6. Public Education: While listed sixth on this page, the placement does not reflect the priority level we place on public education. We believe that education is our top priority. In fact, most of the our website is dedicated to education. You will find information about pesticides, repellents, mosquito life cycle, mosquito borne diseases (West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and dog heartworm), controlling mosquito breeding around the home, important state regulations, and links to mosquito information and education websites. Additionally, we provide speakers for schools, community organizations, and civic groups. We also have attempted to provide the schools of Plymouth County with opportunities for bringing mosquito education into their classrooms and connect it to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.
Education in the Classroom
Please check the Project's map of our service area.
Home Page Service Area Pesticides Lifecycle Disease Repellents Control around home Links