Bay County Mosquito
Midland County Mosquito
Saginaw County Mosquito
Tuscola County Mosquito
Mother Nature has thrown some curveballs this spring and BCMC’s program has been busy from day one in response.
Due to unfavorable weather conditions, our spring aerial larviciding program took nearly two weeks to complete in April. What could normally be achieved in 6-7 treatment days was delayed regularly due to snow, rain, wind, and poor visibility. We were fortunate that the air temperature stayed cool during that period, allowing for slow larval development with no significant pupation occurring until the end of our treatment. This season saw an increase in our aerial treatment acreage to 52,434 acres of flooded woodlots in Bay County.
Rain continued throughout May, however, the cooler than normal temperatures continued as well so we did NOT have a significant nuisance mosquito hatch in Bay County in May, even with some 2” rain events. As June approached, tire and catch basin treatments began before an additional 2”+ of rain fell on June 9-10. This time, significant amounts of standing water resulted as grounds were already saturated from continuous precipitation over the past month. Larviciding crews worked extended hours as we focused on roadside ditches and priority treatment areas. We expect a significant nuisance mosquito emergence before the end of June at the same time that Bay County heads into a busy tourist and festival season.
Two new Grizzly foggers have been added to our fleet and a trial of a new system to provide digitized mapping for our adulticiders is currently being demonstrated in a ULV truck. Our Biology Department is busy with numerous product trials over the next few weeks in consideration of adding some new active ingredients to our larviciding program in 2020. As of June 17, no disease activity has been reported in Bay County.
We’ve had good media coverage throughout the season from aerial treatment to recent June rains to help get our message out. Our goal throughout the season is to continue emphasizing the use of personal protective methods (insect repellant, long sleeves, etc.) from spring through fall to reduce the risk of disease transmitted by mosquitoes.
Rebecca Brandt, Manager
This spring was characterized by wet conditions and cool weather and with this, MCMC worked through a number of adjustments, challenges and benefits. One of the most significant adjustments was the delay. The spring aerial treatment was delayed, and the seasonal start of nighttime fogging was delayed because emergence of adult mosquitoes was delayed. This actually benefited our spring efforts to treat standing water as the cool temperatures kept larvae in the water longer. We are always grateful for longer development times as our best work is done killing larvae.
A significant challenge from the cool nighttime temperatures has been slow progress with our fogging efforts to control adult mosquitoes. No one can recall a spring with such little opportunity to fog. As you likely know, if the temperatures fall too quickly in the evening, the mosquitoes are not active and fogging is not effective. So while the wet conditions created a lot of spring mosquitoes, efforts to knock them out were curtailed.
This season all of our trucks were equipped with an iPad tablet. Due to the dedicated efforts of the staff, we have put these to good use. Many of our operations are now digitalized and data from the field as well as treatment records are being fed into GIS mapping software for greater analysis and instant access. We still have more work to do to make the full transfer, yet the products and capabilities are already quite impressive and we are just beginning to understand the potential of the technology.
Best to you all and wishing you a safe and productive summer!
Carl Doud, Director
“Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink,” but enough to breed a very large nuisance population! A little poetry from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, to lend some perspective for the 10+ inches of rainfall that has fallen on the majority of Saginaw County since mid-May; some areas have received over a foot of water! Concerns with basements, culverts, flooded yards, and of course the impact on farmers, now the mosquitoes are out. We are continuing to provide lots of larval control in a variety of floodwater habitats; including ditches, floodplains, woodlots, and yards. We have already used more granular Bti than we did the entire 2018 season! Our nightly community ULV treatments have now gone into overtime, with weekend spraying and extra time to get through neighborhoods and back.
In addition to the substantial resultant habitat, other weather oddities have impacted our community control efforts. Abnormally cold temperatures and strong winds have limited our adult control operations, we started a week later than predicted and once we started, nightly treatment temperatures fell below our spray threshold on multiple nights interrupting many of our zone sweeps. On the brighter side, the colder temperatures slowed larval development, allowing us more time to get product into the water. In addition, our catch basins have had little Culex infestation as rainfall has continued to flush establishing populations. It is likely the Culex found a suitable home in floodwater more than a month old. As we look to meet this year’s challenges, let’s remember those regions that have received more water resulting in lost production (agriculture) and property due to extreme flooding.
Our spring aerial program was complicated with abnormal weather (appears to be a theme) kicking-off with a large snowstorm on the eve of the “targeted” start date, April 15th. The program finished up on April 25th, resulting in nearly 48,000 acres of water treated with granular Bti resulting in an 86% reduction of the spring mosquito population. Thank you to our staff and Al’s Aerial Spraying for all their efforts this spring.
With the cool, wet weather one may think arbovirus would be absent, however we have again found it in our mosquito populations in May. Our Biology department has collected a West Nile positive collection of Culex. This collection was comprised of one Culex, lending to the idea that it only takes one bite. Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV) has also been detected in our mosquito population, two Aedes collections found in rural woodlots tested positive for this re-emerging arbovirus. JCV has been found on the upswing in the Midwest (Minnesota and Wisconsin) recently, and with the help of Michigan State University’s Arbovirus Lab and the MCE-VBD we are examining its presence here in Saginaw County. JCV is vectored by an abundance of mosquito species and we expect to find additional positive collections. Our control operations address these arbovirus collections as they are reported.
Summer activities for our Education Department has and will include participation in multiple events by County Parks; City of Saginaw; Children’s Zoo and Museum; Commission of Aging; Summer School Camps; Downtown Saginaw & St. Charles Farmers Markets; and the Saginaw County Fair. We are continually looking for additional opportunities to engage the community.
The Biology Department is very busy with identifying large trap collections and processing very large arbovirus submissions given the number of JCV vectors. Catch basin treatment formulations along with extended release granules are scheduled to be evaluated this season. Resistance testing continues to be a priority and will commence again this year coinciding with the expected proliferation of Culex populations.
Our annual household scrap tire collection efforts have removed more than 3,000 scrap tires from the environment. We still have 2 months of collection to go so we expect that number to be much higher. We continue to work with local municipalities and the Saginaw County Health Department to eliminate historical tire piles and illegal dumping. This remains a very popular program and we appreciate the financial assistance received through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Scrap Tire Cleanup Grant.
Have a safe and successful season.
William Stanuszek, Director
The treatment of spring flooded woodlots began on April 1st marking the start of our season.
Tuscola County received over five inches of rain on May 25th flooding many areas of the county. We have field technicians larviciding flooded areas and ditches. Our night shift technicians are focusing on roadside fogging to decrease the number of adult mosquitoes. In June we continued to receive significant amounts of rainfall to already saturated areas.
We have so far to date held five scrap tire events in various townships, with a few more scheduled later in the season.
In May, biologist Gavin Greer left us to pursue a career in logistics. We wish him the best of luck in his new position. We welcome Shyann Clark as our new biologist. Shyann has been getting her feet wet this season!
We will continue to send mosquito pools for testing to MSU. Birds will be tested in house.
We are hopeful for dryer conditions in the coming months.
Kimberly Green, Director