Integrated Mosquito Management

The NCMCD operates under a system known as Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), a mosquito control specific version of integrated pest management (IPM). This means that all viable tactics including cultural, biological, physical and chemical means are used to control mosquitoes in the most effective way possible with the least impact on the public and environment, and in the most cost-effective way. In the event that chemical control is necessary, best management practices are initiated to apply the least and most effective amount to control the adult mosquito population, greatly reducing the risk of chemical resistance and non-target effects. Included in our practices is our ongoing Surveillance Program that tracks the population of mosquitoes throughout the season that aids in our daily IMM decisions.

Source Reduction

Source reduction is a major component of mosquito control. The purpose is to eliminate or alter mosquito habitat. This can be as simple as emptying bird baths, turning buckets over on one’s property, the removal and recycling of off-rim tires that hold water, to more involved projects such as water management work conducted by the NCMCD. Water management is the maintenance of ditches, and other water courses, conducted in order to reduce larval mosquito habitat or potential habitat. Field personnel can remove manageable vegetation, silt and debris from within District drainage systems and culvert outfall areas by using hand tools. Larger scale projects are accomplished by means of specialized, low ground pressure equipment.

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Larval Mosquito Control

When source reduction cannot be accomplished and mosquito larvae are present in water sources, best management practices in IMM call for mosquito larviciding, the most cost-effective, efficient, and environmentally friendly way to reduce mosquito populations.  The NCMCD uses Bacillus products (naturally occurring soil bacteria) and methoprene (derived from juvenile hormone naturally produced by insects and arthropods) to control larval mosquito populations. Application is accomplished by field personnel on the ground for smaller sites or by helicopter for larger and remote sites. Catch basins are another source of breeding mosquitoes and are treated with rotations between methoprene products and Bacillus products.

Bell Jet Ranger Helicopter applying larvicide

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Adult Mosquito Control

When adult mosquito populations become a serious nuisance or present a health risk, it is too late for larvicide to have any immediate effect. Thus, it is necessary to use adulticide, employing Ultra Low Volume (ULV) spraying applications. The product we use is Zenivex®, a man-made mimic of the natural plant chemical pyrethrum found in chrysanthemum flowers. The output of ULV applications is approximately 0.65 ounces per acre (8-15 micron droplet size) with an average vehicle speed of 10 miles per hour. Applications occur between sunset and midnight.

NCMCD fleet vehicle

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Exclusions From Spraying

If for any reason a resident wishes for their property to be excluded from ULV spraying applications, a registered letter with the names of their property abutters must be sent to their local Town Clerk, and a copy sent to our office. The property to be excluded must be marked every 50 feet with signs indicating “No Spray.” Signs placed at approximately 6 feet from the ground are recommended.

Process to Exclude from Spraying

Contact

144 Production Rd, Suite C

Walpole, MA 02081

Office: (781) 762-3681
Fax: (781) 769-6436