B. Larval Inspection

The best indication that a site produces mosquitoes is to find mosquito larvae in the water. Inspection of mosquito breeding areas is one of the most time consuming parts of the IMM program. The District regularly inspects more than 2000 breeding sites. The size of these breeding sites can vary from as small as 1/10 of an acre to several hundred acres. These sites include areas such as marshes, wood­lands and pastures, roadside ditches, swamps, and artificial containers. When a site is observed to be breeding mosquitoes, if practical, it is treated to prevent the mosquito from reaching the adult stage. Monitoring these areas also provides the District with a forecast of the types of mosquito problems to expect in the next few days. The forecast permits the District to plan strategies and ensures that the most effective control approach is put into effect. Larval inspection is accomplished by the use of airboats, all-terrain vehicles, four wheel cycles, and on foot. Biologists and mosquito control inspectors perform these duties daily.

C. Service Requests

Service requests by area residents also provide information on larval and adult mosquito densities. A service request is filled out whenever a resident calls the District or visits our website to report a particular mosquito problem. Information is obtained from the resident regarding the address, telephone number, and type of problem. A course of action for correcting the problem is then decided. A biologist or mosquito control inspector is dispatched to investigate the problem and pro­vide control within 24 hours or insofar as is practical.

II. Arbovirus Surveillance

Almost every year for the past 40 years there has been evidence of mosquito borne virus within St. Tammany Parish, namely West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis, and eastern equine encephalitis. In 1998, there was one human case of St. Louis encephalitis. In 1997, there was one horse death due to eastern equine encephalitis. Since 2002 when West Nile virus first entered the parish, there have been 0 – 40 human cases each year. The parish has averaged 13.5 human cases each year.

The District operates an ongoing program throughout the year to monitor for the presence of mosquito borne viral activity. Whenever a virus is detected in a particular area, mosquito control procedures are intensified to reduce mosquito populations in order to reduce the potential risk for humans or animals contracting encephalitis. In most cases, the arbovirus surveillance program will detect viral activity before humans or animals come down with the disease. This gives the District time to react aggressively with controls to help prevent human and animal disease. The arbovirus surveillance is accomplished by the collection of mosquito pools.

Mosquito Pools

Adult mosquitoes are collected by CO2 baited CDC light traps and gravid traps. The mosquitoes are then sorted by species and grouped in pools of not more than 50 mosquitoes. The mosquito pools are then sent to the Louisiana State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab for viral analysis. Mosquito pools are collected three times a week from many locations throughout the parish.

III. Source Reduction

Source reduction refers to any method of physically altering a mosquito breeding site to render it unsatisfactory for completion of its life cycle. Some of these practices include the following:

A. Removal of old tires and artificial containers to prevent mosquito breeding, (primarily the Asian tiger mosquito)

Because of the extremely large number of these breeding locations, it is not practical for the District to actively engage in removing containers that breed mosquitoes. Each and every parish resident should take responsibility to survey their property and dispose of or remove containers so they cannot collect water and breed mosquitoes. When a mosquito control inspector encounters serious or extensive site harboring containers, he reports the findings to the appropriate parish regulatory agency.

B. Maintenance, cleaning and repairing broken sewer lines and ditches of debris, etc.,

This is another situation where local residents are relied upon to take responsibility and report broken sewer lines that local officials are responsible to repair, or to repair the ones they are responsible for. Sewage seepage from these lines can cause production of extremely large numbers of the southern house mosquito in a very small area. Residents should also do their part in keeping roadside ditches in front of their property free from debris such as toys, garbage, etc. to help water flow.



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