Our mild and wet winter has continued throughout February. The rollercoaster weather pattern of early Spring has begun. Consequently, marsh and floodwater mosquito populations are growing primarily in coastal areas.
District personnel and Commissioners attended the annual meeting of the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) during February. The AMCA meeting is our chance to learn about new products and techniques in mosquito control. In addition, our personnel presented the results of two research projects that were conducted in 2018.
February is traditionally the final winter month to prepare for the active mosquito season. This included outfitting and calibrating all district equipment and vehicles. Eight new, right-hand drive larviciding Jeeps replace an aging fleet of Ford Ranger trucks which lacked air bags.
Priming our spray equipment was only one focus of our February operations. Jennifer Bushnell, the Media & Outreach Specialist, launched our updated website (www.stpmad.org) and Facebook and LinkedIn social media sites. We are eager to reach St. Tammany residents with our public health message on these platforms, as well as to hear about ways we can improve our service. In February, we also began to reach out to interest groups that we have traditionally avoided such as the Beekeepers of Tangi-Tammington and the Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club. We feel that an open discussion of our mission and approach can result in better service and understanding of the role of mosquito abatement in our community.
As we begin a new mosquito season, St. Tammany Parish Mosquito Abatement is more trained, equipped, and capable than ever.
Kevin A. Caillouet, Ph.D., M.S.P.H. Director