Bay County Mosquito
Midland County Mosquito
Saginaw County Mosquito
Tuscola County Mosquito
As noted by our neighboring Districts, the calm of a dry spring and early summer lead to persistent rain from the end of June through September. Field staff did an excellent job focusing on controlling floodwater sites in both roadside ditches and community areas before moving to adult control of mosquitoes. Some southern areas of the County had over 25” of rain from the end of June through September! Fortunately, our residents were understanding of the situation and appreciated seeing our fleet on the road working long shifts and weekends in response.
With a very robust disease surveillance network, we witnessed an active virus year in Bay County. We had our first confirmed evidence of EEE in a mosquito this summer, when a Coquillettidia perturbans mosquito sample from the Hampton Township shoreline area tested positive. With the high numbers of Cq. perturbans in our area, we have been preparing to see EEE. A second case came from a Culex sample from the city of Bay City that tested positive a few weeks later. Unfortunately, a human case of West Nile virus was also reported in Bay City through a blood donation, thankfully the individual only exhibited mild symptoms. West Nile virus activity was high with approximately 50 positive samples from 22 unique locations. This is nearly double the positive cases seen in 2022. Fortunately, our staff was able to respond quickly to all instances with enhanced adult and larval control.
Finally, after many years of discussion and planning, we are happy to report we successfully completed our first aerial treatment of Saginaw Bay shoreline habitat for the reduction of Cq. perturbans larvae! A full report of the project is in this Scanner edition. Many thanks to our colleagues who have provided us with input and support for the project over the years, we eagerly await our results in summer 2024.
Rebecca Brandt, Manager
We always appreciate fall as we wrap up from a busy season and plan out the coming months of work to prepare for next year. This fall & winter will be particularly interesting as we have the benefit for the first time ever of having Field Supervisors, Jessica and Leigha, with us through the off-season. That will lead to the most capability and productivity yet among the staff.
We unfortunately have bid farewell to our newly-welcomed Office Manager! Christy Cashin was doing an outstanding job but her husband did not find suitable employment in the area so took a job out of state. Christy was able to find work in the same area so that made the decision easy for them and hard on us. So among other tasks, we are reviewing applications and carrying out interviews to fill the vacant Office Manager position.
And that is not the only heartbreak happening at MCMC. Dave Taylor, who has been the mechanic for eleven seasons, will be stepping down effective October 6th. See more details in the personnel section of the newsletter.
The season was unique and filled with extremes – from drought to frequent rains and ending the season in September with the highest numbers of mosquitoes all season. Furthermore, the hatch of Aedes vexans was below what would be expected based on the rainfall. Weird.
Carl Doud, Director
Our control operations will end in October concluding the 2023 mosquito season. This season was a tale of two halves. After a normal spring with the usual amount of spring Aedes larvae present prior to our Spring Aerial Bti Treatment, the next two months of May and June were dry with 2 to 4 inches of rainfall resulting in little sustained nuisance. We spent these months treating catch basins and roadside ditches with extended release products in efforts to curtail disease activity as well as decrease any hatch should we receive rain. Then came the water in July and August which resulted in rainfall totals more than 15 inches in some areas. Not only did this supply a good inventory of flooded fields but our many floodplains became inundated. That has given us a September to remember. As of writing this we are still addressing large portions of the county under assault from floodwater Aedes (Ae. vexans and Ae. trivittatus primarily) but also some Psorophora ferox in wooded areas. Low nighttime temperatures and rainfall interrupt our attempts to string successive spray shifts together.
As for arbovirus activity there have been some surprises and some confirmation of the norm. We had our first collection of mosquitoes found positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in recent memory. The collection was of a single Ae. japonicus from an area not known to have the suspected EEE habitat. We are attributing this positive to a happenstance feeding on a positive migrating bird. We have not noted any additional EEE activity in that area or the county since. Aside from the lone and expected Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV) positive mosquito collection noted early in the season, West Nile virus (WNV) activity began to ramp up with the arrival of August, corresponding well with prior seasons’ WNV activity. To date we have 13 WNV positive mosquito pools (primarily Culex), 2 positive dead crows, and we were recently notified by the DNR of a deceased red-tailed hawk found positive for the virus as well. We expect additional positive mosquito pools as more results from September come back from the MDHHS’ Bureau of Laboratories.
We fully implemented two public tools to allow for reporting mosquito activity as well as request larval control services. The first was our Public Notification App (developed and maintained by Frontier Precision) and the other a web-form developed by Ryan DuRussel, our foreman. This has eased the number phone calls and allowed us to better monitor nuisance through public reporting.
As the summer event schedule comes to a close our Education program is getting ready to get back into Saginaw County classrooms. During the season Thys and his staff concentrated on documenting our staff and services through an extensive photo-archive. We look forward to using the footage for our website, social media, reports and training.
Our scrap tire collection ended in August with a higher amount than past years. We are attributing this to the inclusion of two, Saturday tire drives. We will likely add another next year to accommodate additional communities. This year the total collection of tires removed from the environment was approximately 5,150.
We were also fortunate to take part in a multi-district field test of a new adult control product. Valent Biosciences coordinated the testing of their new adult control product with our neighboring Michigan mosquito districts, Toledo Area Sanitary District, Dr. Ned Walker (MSU), and a district from the Chicago Area (South Cook County). Results look promising and we are excited to have another tool in the toolbox. It was great to network, talk mosquitoes, learn about the process and product, and of course have a few laughs.
The fall and winter will allow for reflection, evaluation, and preparation for the next season.
I want to thank our entire staff for continuing to maintain a functional, responsive, and safe workplace. It is worth noting this season’s workforce was exceptional with their attention to detail, safety, and service.
Have a safe and enjoyable off-season.
William Stanuszek, Director
The 2023 mosquito season will be remembered as one of the most challenging we have faced in many years. Constant and persistent rainfall remained steady during the summer months. Weather conditions shut down operations several times and left us working Saturdays trying to keep up with residential requests and truck fogging routines.
MDHHS identified five positive test pools of the West Nile Virus during the season. The Psorophora Columbiae species of mosquito made an appearance in two townships. According to our records, this particular mosquito has never been detected in the county.
Our staff did an outstanding job this season. The challenges and work load remained endless. Nevertheless, they took it all in stride and did their very best. I truly appreciate all the hard work and dedication. Thank you to all.
Currently, the month of October will be spent cleaning and preparing equipment for the long winter ahead. Planning and preparation for the 2024 season is already in the works and we are all looking forward to some much needed time off. We here at TCMA wish you all the best and hope you all enjoy some time off as well.
Larry Zapfe, Director