Longer Mosquito Season: How to Prepare Your Community

Weather patterns across the country continue to change, causing longer mosquito seasons. With these longer mosquito seasons, the risk increases for mosquito-borne diseases. Scientists say mosquito abatement districts (MADs) and public health officials (PHOs) need to work alongside each other to increase efforts to track and reduce late-season mosquito populations.

Katie Westby, a staff scientist at Washington University’s Tyson Research Center says, “Local public health agencies need to increase their surveillance of mosquitoes and the diseases they spread.” An important step in preparing your community for a longer mosquito season is to establish a rigorous surveillance and monitoring program. This effort will help keep track of when your community may start seeing West Nile, EEEV and other diseases in mosquitoes. Without this necessary information, your abatement districts can’t respond and start trying to eliminate mosquitoes, as well as warn the public that mosquito-borne diseases are circulating.

Early in the season, population suppression using larvicides is typically most effective. But by mid-to-late season, combating disease vectors and population spikes with a high efficacy, reduced-risk adulticide provides quick, permanent knockdown and immediate relief against nuisance and disease-carrying mosquitoes. The most effective mosquito control programs use adulticides in conjunction with larvicides. This will become especially necessary as longer mosquito seasons pose an increasing nuisance and health threat to communities.

In addition to using larvicides for preemptive suppression and adulticides for emerging populations, a comprehensive late season mosquito control program also includes educating the general public on mosquito information, potential treatments in the area, and more. Educating the public, tracking disease rates, and using the right products are all key actions needed to control late-season mosquito spikes and mosquito-borne diseases.