St. Tammany Parish Mosquito Abatement is launching a pilot helicopter program to combat West Nile virus and nuisance mosquitoes. One of the primary benefits of incorporating a helicopter into our operations is that it enables Mosquito Abatement to aerially distribute larvicide to control container breeding mosquitoes that are more difficult to reach through conventional methods. Larvicides are the first line of defense in combating mosquito populations as they specifically target mosquito larvae, preventing them from ever becoming adults capable of biting humans and spreading disease.

The helicopter will be flying in the early morning at a low altitude and will spray a fine mist of a non-chemical, environmentally safe product that specifically targets mosquitoes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Mosquito Abatement will be using the larvicide Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis).  This larvicide product is derived from a naturally occurring soil bacteria that targets mosquito larvae and has negligible impact on non-target species. These organic products are considered safe for humans, pets, animals, beneficial insects, and are ideal for use in many aquatic environments as they do not affect freshwater fish or amphibi ans. Additionally, the products we are using are OMRI listed making it safe for organic gardening.

Mosquitoes breed by laying eggs in water where larvae begin the process of metamorphosis. Mosquito Abatement currently uses larvicides to control the breeding of mosquitoes in roadside ditches, particularly the primary vector of West Nile virus, the Southern house mosquito. The helicopter will enable us to distribute larvicide into areas with standing water that we cannot easily access like unmaintained swimming pools, small ponds, and water holding containers.

This larvicide is better distributed in the early morning before the heat from the ground has begun to rise. Occasionally we will use the helicopter in our nighttime adulticide operations using the same type of chemicals used in the plane and trucks. These operations occur after sunset, because we are targeting adult mosquitoes when they are most active and we are less likely to encounter honeybees & beneficial insects.

Mosquito larvae can develop into adults in as few as seven days so we return within that window to treat again before they emerge. You can monitor our spray schedule and follow us on social media for more updates.