2020-2021 MMCA Board and Committees
I did not imagine when I wrote the April President’s Message informing members of an abbreviated Skeeter Scanner amid the many adaptations we were putting in place in response to COVID-19 that we would be in the same boat three months later. Lo and behold, we have seen cases grow, peak, decline, and now begin to rise again and I am beginning to sound like a broken record, but this July Skeeter Scanner issue will again be condensed due to a variety of issues. These issues include May rains and flooding, dam failures (see Midland County’s “Around the Districts” report), and the many implications of COVID-19 including staff shortages. We are all just trying to keep our heads above water during this 2020 mosquito season and its myriad challenges.
As vector control programs that are in place to protect communities from diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, and other pests, we have been lucky enough here in Michigan to be considered critical infrastructure workers and continue administering our programs amid COVID-19. Having said that, we have all experienced significant adaptations and cutbacks whether that took the form of certification testing delays, staffing challenges, protocol adaptations (masks, social distancing, etc.), or procedures completely shut down.
I am at least thankful that in our neck of the woods June rainfall has been minimal and floodwater nuisance species are manageable. It’s a different story with permanent water species like Coquillettidia perturbans and Anopheles as we continue to see outbreaks especially in areas where water remains high. With fewer nuisance species, attention can be directed toward management of Culex mosquitoes and viruses they carry like West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis. Testing of these disease vectors, however, has been limited due to the inability of MSU to garner testing supplies since supplies typically used for mosquito pool analysis have been redirected to COVID. Just one hurdle after another this year!
We’ve recently seen the State’s first human case of Jamestown Canyon virus in Ottawa County and this hot, dry summer certainly puts Michigan residents at greater risk for mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile virus. We are also concerned about the logistics of mosquito testing when we’re coming off a year that saw 10 human cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis that resulted in 6 deaths. Thankfully, we are fortunate to have such educated, dedicated professionals in our industry trying to ensure things work out for the best.
Lastly, the MMCA Board is meeting electronically on July 22 and will consider, among other topics, cancelling the 7F Conference this October. Whatever is decided in terms of the fall 7F seminar, we will keep members updated through a blast email. Unfortunately, COVID-19 continues to devastate many areas, with new viral hot spots in states that are reopening and members of the pest control industry have undoubtedly seen at least a moderate level of disruption to operations as a result of the pandemic. I continue to wish you all the best and ask that our dedicated members bear with us in these challenging times.
Board Members terms will expire:
February 2022 - Britanie Rountree, Melinda Moreno, and Jessica Fetterman
February 2021 - David Driver & Trustee
Awards & Recognition - Kristy Brandt & Ken Misiak
Finance - Melinda Moreno
Legislative Liaison - Carl Doud
Member and Nominating - Britanie Rountree
2021 Conference Planning - Isaac Blackmon
Public Education and Information - Thys Kotze
Scientific - Bill Stanuszek
2020 7F Seminar Planning- Rebecca Brandt