What We Do
Our Mosquito Abatement Program is committed to providing the citizens of our parish with the best measure of mosquito control and disease surveillance that we can. We operate our program on an IPM (integrated pest management) basis.We have a strong surveillance program for both disease and mosquito population monitoring. We employ several surveillance-informed tactics for the control of mosquitoes, some pesticide-based and some non-pesticide based but all designed to keep mosquito levels low and thereby keep the risk of mosquito-borne disease transmission to our citizens low as well.
Ground Ultra-Low Volume (ULV) spray truck operations comprise the bulk of our pesticide-based tactics for the control of mosquitoes in the Parish. When and if we spray is completely based upon the weekly results of our disease and mosquito population surveillance program.
Our trucks are calibrated to spray at 15 miles per hour and we use primarily water-based adulticides such as Aqua-Reslin. All of the chemicals we use at WBR Mosquito Control are approved by both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry for the control of insect pest. We would ask that when you see our trucks out spraying, please go inside for about 30 minutes. Our drivers are instructed to cut off the spray machine if people are standing by the road.
Although the chemicals we use have come a long way in being environmentally friendly and are safe to humans, pets, and plants when applied correctly still they are pesticides and we do not recommend you run behind, play, or stand in the spray. Some of the chemicals we use can be hazardous to some species of fish such as koi and goldfish. For more information you can contact our department's mosquito control supervisor or our mosquito specialist. Just think of the spray truck as a huge can of bug killer, so with this in mind and to help us out we ask that you go inside when you see us coming, thanks.
Off road ULV spraying is accomplished by the use of either our Honda four wheeler or Honda MUV. These vehicles allow us to access areas that we could not safely take a truck into.
We often use these vehicles to treat areas such as parish parks, areas behind the levee system, parish schools, and any other area that needs to be treated that we cannot access by truck.
Gravid Trap Surveillance
Gravid trap surveillance is key to our monitoring of mosquito populations and disease levels in WBR Parish. Gravid traps are so named because they are designed to attract "gravid" female mosquitoes ( mosquitoes that are full of eggs and consequently contain a blood meal ). While they occasionally do collect other species of mosquitoes, gravid traps here in Louisiana are primarily used to catch Cx. Quinquefasciatus ( the Southern House Mosquito ).
We have eighteen gravid trap locations covering the entire parish from top to bottom. Our gravid trap collections are made daily Tuesday through Friday and the collected mosquito pools are submitted every Wednesday to the LSU Diagnostic Lab for disease testing. When a trap location comes up disease positive for a submitted mosquito pool we will spray that surrounding area for three nights, we will also spray when the number of mosquitoes caught rises above threshold at one or more trap locations.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Surveillance
CDC trap surveillance is another tool we use for the monitoring of mosquito populations and disease levels in the Parish. Our CDC trap surveillance program is not a full-time operation and is targeted toward the collection of the many different species of floodwater mosquitoes that can be prevalent in our area.
We use up to 13 CDC trap sites that are primarily used after times of extreme flooding or after hurricanes do determine the amount of floodwater mosquitoes present and the possible disease levels in these species.
Larviciding by hand mainly consist of applying larvicide to areas where vehicles cannot reach or areas that are to small to warrant the use of vehicle larviciding measures. These small areas or "hot spots" may be small in size but they are capable of and have produced vast amounts of larvae. Consequently, these areas are monitored throughout the season for larval activity. We employ several methods for applying larvicide, from small portable spray tanks and backpack blowers to simply applying packets and briquettes by hand.
The larvicides we use are as varied as the methods we use to apply them, from oils and liquids to powders, granules, briquettes, and packets. All of the larvicides we use here at WBR Mosquito Control are approved by both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry for the control of insect pest. Unlike adulticides, larvicides often have extended residuals ( which means they stick around for awhile ). Larvicide residuals can be anywhere from one week to five months depending on product used and weather conditions, which explains why you may only see us one or two times per season applying larvicide at some areas.
Larviciding by truck is used to treat any areas of standing water and the many miles of sewer ditches in WBR Parish. Larviciding allows us to kill mosquitoes in the larval stage before they ever become an adult. Since sewer ditches are the preferred habitat of our most prolific WNV carrying mosquito (the southern house mosquito) larviciding by vehicle allows us gain even more control over this dangerous species.The chemicals we use to larvicide by truck are targeted to kill mosquito larvae and will not harm the other aquatic organisms living in the water.
Off road larviciding is accomplished by the use of our versatile Honda 4x4 and Honda MUV. These vehicles allow us access to bodies of standing water, ditches, and canals that we would not be able to reach with a truck.
Source reduction is the physical alteration of mosquito breeding habitat by man or machine in order to render the area unsatisfactory for the production of mosquitoes.Source reduction could also be considered the proper maintenance of drainage systems already in place to reduce the chance of standing water.The need for source reduction largely depends on how good and extensive the drainage system is and how well it is maintained.
Source reduction in WBR Parish when and if it is needed is done by the help of either WBR drainage department or WBR roads department and the cooperation of their respective superintendents, Dane Aucoin and John Andrae. Much thanks goes to Dane and John and to their employees for their cooperative efforts to help us with mosquito problems related to drainage. The need for source reduction is seldom needed in WBR Parish thanks to the efforts of these two departments in providing WBR Parish with one of the best drainage systems in the state.