Chesapeake’s program is now responsible for 353 square miles and protects 246,000 citizens (2nd largest population in Virginia), within Southern Chesapeake, Greenbrier and Deep Creek, from the nuisance and public health threat of mosquitoes. Chesapeake has an abundance of diverse mosquito habitats, which range from urban container mosquitoes to open farmland, marshes, and the Great Dismal Swamp where pesticide usage is restricted.
“[Insecticide resistance monitoring] contributes to our efficiency, and our bottom line, and allows us to be environmentally sound without compromising service to our citizens. We can control mosquitoes and reduce the likelihood of the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases to humans and horses in the most economical responsible way.”
CMCC’s Approach to Monitoring and Managing Resistance
CMCC’s Biology Department is responsible for planning, running, and record keeping of the cage field trials, bottle bioassays, and larvicide efficacy/resistance trials. Their Physical Assets Manager is responsible for upkeep of our large assortment of pesticides and guides the supervisors on the best products to use. Lisa states, “We are constantly training our field techs on all our products, the “What, When, Where” concept.”
“We have always had a resistance management plan in place by following our philosophy of integrated pest management (IPM). Using IPM with various methods and materials accomplishes many goals:
1. It acknowledges that mosquito species differ and require different monitoring and control techniques.
2. It emphasizes source reduction- a longer term strategy and does not involve pesticides. This involves public education about artificial containers to the drainage maintenance program.
3. It increases the types of both natural and synthetic pesticides used to reduce the possibility of pesticide resistance.
4. It places priority on controlling immature stages to reduce mosquito numbers before they become adults.
5. It is the safest system for humans and the environment and has the biggest impact on the target species.
6. It saves money by making pesticide applications dependent on surveillance data, rather than on a set schedule.
Our budget has allowed for us to acquire a diverse inventory of both adulticides and larvicides giving us the ability to rotate products over the years.”
When asked what changes have been observed over the years in their operations due to their resistance plan, Lisa shares, “We have the ability to reduce problem species of mosquitoes when they arise and a better understanding of our pesticides allowing us to react quickly and plan for the future. Our larviciding program is enhanced by the knowledge acquired from our trials. We know the best product to use in any one of our many diverse mosquito habitats.”
At the beginning of their resistance program, Chesapeake relied on supplies and training from external sources (CDC, NEVBD-Cornell, various vendors), they now have a dedicated budget line for educational supplies that includes door tags and mosquito information brochures. Fifteen years ago, Chesapeake was awarded an educational grant that was instrumental in the development of their 3rd grade outreach program that is still in place today, which helps to promote source reduction.