Mosquito Control and Coastal Management ServicesThe Mosquito Control Department recently has been changed into the Mosquito Control and Coastal Management Services Department as part of the Fiscal Year 2010-2011 county-wide reorganization effort aimed at cost-cutting and creation of beneficial synergies. The new department consists of the Mosquito Control District, Beach Parks, Artificial Reefs, and the Erosion District (links to the new sections are in the left column).
The St. Lucie County Mosquito Control District is a dependent taxing district, overseen by its own board and by the Mosquito Control Section of the Florida Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control (Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services). Residents are most familiar with the trucks used for spraying adult mosquitoes, but District services also include: reduction of mosquito breeding habitat, control of mosquito larvae where possible, monitoring of mosquitoes and viruses they sometimes carry, measurement and analysis of environmental information, environmental education, and public use of impounded wetland parks. The District boundaries contain 301 square miles. There are 20 full-time, 10 part-time, and 5 temporary employees in four divisions: Administration, Biology/Inspection, Adulticiding Operations, and Impoundment Operations.
Rotational Impoundment Management
The District manages 4000 acres of coastal mangrove swamps and salt marshes to abate saltmarsh mosquitoes and sandflies by minimizing available exposed mud for breeding, during the summer. This is an example of insect control by a resource management method that does not require pesticides. The ecosystem management protocols result in multi-species benefits, especially for fish and wading birds. District land acquisition and preservation efforts have been successful at Bear Point, Middle Cove, Blind Creek, Kings Island, Queens Island, Pepper Park Addition, and the Indian River Lagoon Blueway.
Vector and Nuisance Mosquito Control
Sentinel chicken flocks are monitored for transmission of St. Louis Encephalitis and West Nile Virus. Virus detection in the flocks is reported to the County Public Health Unit, the State Epidemiologist, and the Center for Disease Control (by the State Lab in Tampa), to facilitate coordinated responses among those agencies. Discarded tires and other vessels functioning as mosquito breeding containers are regularly inspected and eliminated. Aquatic weeds that breed mosquitoes are reduced. To minimize the potential for negative environmental impacts, biological control agents and best management practices are employed as part of an Integrated Pest Management approach. When chemical control is required, mostly artificially modified plant and animal byproducts that degrade rapidly and have minimal non-target effects are used to control adult and larval mosquitoes.
For additional information, please click links in the left or right columns.
How you can reduce mosquito populations around your home (click for English or Spanish version):
Locations of Coastal Park Wetlands Managed by SLCMCD: