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History

St. Tammany Parish is one of 24 parishes across the state that has an organized mosquito control program. When the Mosquito Abatement District was established on April 18, 1968, it covered only Wards 8 and 9 (the greater Slidell and Pearl River areas). Initially, a 5-mil property tax was increased to 10 mils to support expanding operations and, subsequently, reduced to 6.19, 5.0, and 4.2. In 2003 the voters approved an additional 2.5 supplemental mills to help defray the increased costs due to West Nile virus. In 2009 and after property reappraisal, the total millage was reduced to 4.72 mills.

During the 1960s, there was a move to transfer many families from other parts of the nation to Louisiana, in support of the growing space program. As the first families began to arrive, hordes of mosquitoes confronted them. This made it nearly impossible to perform any normal outdoor activities such as grocery shopping, visiting friends, or even going to work. In addition, it was impossible to enjoy outdoor recreational activities such as sporting events, barbecues, parties, etc. Although the citizens tolerated this condition, incoming families from parts of the nation with few or no mosquitoes could not. The word began to spread and it became increasingly more difficult to hire people to move to the area. The aerospace industry and new industrial developments began to feel the shortage. The developers of land, housing, and associated supporting business companies began to retrench. Something had to be done, particularly for Wards 8 and 9, which bordered on the new space program.

A few key individuals working with St. Tammany Parish, the NASA Stennis Space Station, the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility, and the recently formed New Orleans Mosquito Control established the St. Tammany Parish Mosquito Abatement District. It won the approval of the voters, by a ninety (90%) percent vote, to levy and collect a 5-mil property tax for a ten-year period. The District was launched with a first year budget and income of $100,000.

The same mosquito problem existed in other parts (wards) of St. Tammany Parish, which bordered the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. However, the long time residents and the few new families elected to endure the mosquito nuisance, rather than vote a tax to bring in mosquito control.

By 1993, the influx of new families intolerant to mosquitoes in Ward 7 (Lacombe), Ward 3 (Covington), and Ward 4 (Mandeville) reached a point where the necessary tax to provide for control was approved. Ward 1 (Madisonville) reached this point in the year 2000. The following year the District boundaries expanded to include Wards 2, 5, 6, and 10 with an overwhelming vote from those residents. The District now encompasses all of St. Tammany Parish.


Introduction

Of all the service programs, mosquito control is one that requires not only the voters understanding and support for funding, but must have their participation to control mosquitoes around their homes. The purpose of this website is to provide that understanding.

Many people have the misconception that mosquito control is limited to the more obvious function of driving down the road at night spraying. Actually, mosquito control is a highly technical process based on scientific principles. Consequently, it is run only by professionals trained specifically in mosquito control. The staff includes two medical entomologists (Director Palmisano and Supervisory Entomologist Viki Taylor) and four biologists ( Michael Brody, Josh Foulon, Bryan Massery and Calvin Smotherman and one botanist, Lisa Rowley). All field personnel are certified in mosquito control by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF). Only the latest technology in terms of materials, methodology, and equipment are used to ensure the most efficient and effective results. The LDAF has endorsed and approved all methods of control. All chemicals are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their specific use and pose no detrimental effects to the environment or human health when used according to labeled directions.

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