Without consistent surveillance information, it would be virtually impossible to conduct an effective and efficient mosquito abatement program. Mosquito sampling methods used at the District collect data on mosquito adults and larvae. Strategies for control operations are based on analysis of these data.
Landing rates, traps, and site inspections are used to collect data on mosquito activity. These data provide information on the relative abundance and distribution of species of mosquitoes in locations throughout the Parish. Surveillance data directly influences where mosquito abatement intervention is necessary, as well as where it is not.
A landing rate is a measurement of mosquitoes landing on a still human in a one-minute time period. This sampling method is an excellent means of estimating the adult mosquito populations of many species. Landing rates are performed on a daily basis throughout the Parish during the daytime. Occasionally, landing rates are performed at night to measure mosquito abundance of species that are more active at night. Landing rates performed before and after insecticide treatments are important measurements used to evaluate application effectiveness.
Mosquito traps are set across the Parish twice a week to better understand where adult mosquito problems may be developing. Certain species of mosquitoes collected in these traps are sent to the Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Louisiana State University and tested for the presence of dangerous pathogens, including the West Nile and Zika viruses.
Larval mosquito inspections are performed every weekday across the Parish by field biologists and larviciders. Larval inspections consist of examining water sources known to historically produce mosquitoes, as well as looking for new sites that could become issues in the future. Inspection sites include, but are not limited to: roadside ditches, marshes, man-made containers (e.g. potted plants), and rainwater-flooded environments.