We just don't guess and unnecessarily throw chemicals at the mosquitoes in hope of a positive outcome, we have a plan! To effectively control mosquitoes within the South Cook County Mosquito Abatement District, a comprehensive approach is implemented, one that has not only been scientifically tested but also proven to work.
SCCMAD utilizes the experience drawn from decades of local work to control our mosquito population and guidelines prepared by both, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that can look at factors outside of our community that can greatly enhance the effectiveness of our efforts.
The CDC and EPA have collaborated together by looking at the biological information about the life and reproduction of the mosquito, and the epidemiological information about the diseases that they transmit. Armed with this information they developed a methodology on how best to control mosquitoes across the globe.
Successful mosquito management requires intervening at some point during the mosquito’s life cycle before they bite and infect a human. The best approach to controlling mosquitoes takes advantage by interfering with the various stages of its life to achieve control. This unified approach is referred to as integrated pest management (IPM).
Integrated Pest Management
EPA and CDC encourage all communities and mosquito control districts, including those in territories like Puerto Rico, to strictly adhere to IPM. IPM is a science-based, common-sense approach for managing pests and vectors, such as mosquitoes. IPM uses a variety of pest management techniques that focus on pest prevention, pest reduction, and the elimination of conditions that lead to pest infestations. IPM programs also rely heavily on resident education and pest monitoring.
A successful IPM strategy can use pesticides. IPM uses a combination of ways to control mosquito populations with decisions based on surveillance, such as keeping track or count of the numbers and types of mosquitoes in an area. Surveillance is a critical component to any successful IPM program because the results from the surveillance will help determine the appropriate response to an infestation. Extensive infestations, or those where disease is present, merit a different response than will lower levels of infestations.
Both CDC and EPA recognize a legitimate and compelling need for the use of chemical interventions, under certain circumstances, to control adult mosquitoes. This is especially true during periods of mosquito-borne disease transmission or when source reduction and larval control have failed or are not feasible.
A successful integrated mosquito control strategy includes several tactics to eliminate mosquitoes and their habitat. Four critical tactics include:
- Remove Mosquito Habitats
- Use Structural Barriers
- Control Mosquitoes at the Larval Stage
- Control Adult Mosquitoes