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Getting Community Mosquito Control Programs to Adopt the Best Policies

by aseligmann — last modified Aug 09, 2010 12:00 AM

West Nile virus is a fact of life in most parts of the United States. The risks of infection can be serious, although these risks are much lower than influenza and food-borne diseases. Community mosquito control programs aim to reduce the risks of West Nile virus.

West Nile virus is a fact of life in most parts of the United States. The risks of infection can be serious, although these risks are much lower than influenza and food-borne diseases. Community mosquito control programs aim to reduce the risks of West Nile virus.

It makes sense to use the best strategies. The greatest impact on mosquito populations involves eliminating standing water where mosquitoes lay eggs and killing the larval mosquitoes before they become adults. It to easier to target larvae than adults, because the larvae are confined to well-defined areas with water. The EPA says that this strategy "reduces the need for widespread pesticide application in urban areas."

Pesticides used in mosquito control may pose risks for human health and the environment. A survey of mosquito spray programs in nine states turned up cases of mild to serious poisonings from the insecticides used. A study in Sacramento, California showed that a chemical synergist in a mosquito control product created toxic conditions for a tiny aquatic creature, the Hyalella azteca.

Get the Best for Your Community

Your mosquito control district should be using the best strategies so that there is less need for the widespread application of insecticides aimed at adult mosquitoes. Contact you local agency to get a copy of the West Nile virus plan. Compare their policy to guidelines written by NCAP, EPA, and ASHTO.

NCAP has compiled useful resources about mosquito control policies and pesticides. You'll also find an article about working with your local agencies to improve their programs. Click here for: West Nile Virus: Mosquito Control and Pesticides

Present the Idaho Model

If you don't want to be exposed to insecticide sprays, look to a new Idaho law as a model. Landowners who submit mosquito control plans for their property can opt out of being sprayed. Take this idea to your local agencies. Click here to read about Idaho's Opt-Out Program

 


RESOURCES: The information on this page came from the resources found on NCAP's web site: West Nile Virus: Mosquito Control and Pesticides.