Routine Operations in the St James Parish
Inspection & Mapping
Mosquito Abatement begins with defining the problem. Mosquito Control Services locates, maps, and categorizes important mosquito breeding sites, gathers rainfall information, and monitors adult mosquito activity through the use of 14 Light Traps. These data are collected several times a week and are used to direct equipment and personnel for precise site-specific control.
Control of Larval Insects
After the immature mosquitoes (Larvae) are located in their water habitats, crews work to suppress their ability to become adults. We use bio-chemical sprays containing bacteria or insect growth regulating hormones to address the larvae. These sprays while being very effective controls for immature mosquitoes have little or no impact on the surrounding environment. Breeding sites in the St James Parish are inspected and treated as necessary.
Control of Adult Insects
Several times a week, Mosquito Control Services’ surveillance stations update data on adult mosquito populations and their movement. This allows crews to target efforts with ground spray units. Our application equipment is computer and GPS controlled for both effective and precise adulticiding treatments. We operate a fleet of 4 fully-equipped, truck-mounted, Ultra Low Volume (ULV) sprayers that are checked prior to each use to ensure proper function and calibration. An on board computer measures the truck speed with radar/GPS and then adjusts the amount of spray coming out of the back of unit according to the precise speed. These variable flow machines allow for optimal mosquito control due to this precise application technology. Truck-based spray assignments are guided by the mosquito population and not done on a scheduled day. Although the day may vary, each area in the St James Parish is sprayed at least once per week.
Encephalitis (Disease) Surveillance
West Nile Virus and other Encephalitis types are mosquito-borne diseases that pose a threat to all communities throughout the Southeast. Mosquito Control Services employs biologists whose sole responsibility is in the detection and monitoring of disease carrying mosquitoes. Our biologists work closely with State and Local Health Officials, and are actually providing valuable research data in the study of the encephalitis threat nationwide.
Each week, Mosquito Control Services uses Gravid Traps to collect mosquitoes that would most likely have the ability to transmit a mosquito borne disease. After being collected by the traps, the mosquito samples are brought back to our laboratory, counted, sorted, and either tested in house or sent to LSU for further testing. Any positive result received from a Mosquito Sample or other sample initiates our virus response protocol which concentrates intensified mosquito abatement efforts on the area surrounding the positive sample. This increased activity includes:
- Door to door pamphlet distribution and public education in the immediate area of the positive sample.
- Intensified larval inspections, breeding site and drain treatments, and reduction of mosquito breeding sites throughout the entire zone of the positive sample.
- Three night time spray truck applications of the immediate area and surrounding zone.
- Additional Gravid Traps in the immediate area of the positive sample for mosquito population and disease activity evaluation following control procedures.
- Elevated abatement operations will continue until vector mosquito numbers fall below established threshold levels and all samples are determined to be negative for encephalitis.