East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project (EMMCP) has a Integrated Pest Management plan that includes mosquito and wetland surveillance, larval and adult mosquito control, ditch maintenance, and public education. Each municipality, through it’s funding, determines the type and level of services to be offered in their community.
During risk periods of West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, EMMCP may provide surveillance and mosquito control services under the direction of State and local health authorities, as specified by the Massachusetts Surveillance and Response Plan for Mosquito-Borne Disease.
Public education is ongoing throughout the year. Project personnel serve as a resource to residents, schools, municipal officials and the local media.
The objectives of the survey program are to identify and describe mosquito habitats, to quantify changes in the larval and adult mosquito populations caused by weather, and to provide documentation to support control programs.
EMMCP monitors the adult mosquito population through the use survey traps, and submits vector species to the Department of Public Health to be tested for Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile virus.
The ditch maintenance program is intended to remove sand, sediment and debris from existing ditches in order to provide a clear channel through wetlands for runoff from storm water or melting snow. EMMCP utilizes a low ground pressure excavator to remove sand and sediment from ditches. This track-mounted excavator is specifically designed to work in wetland areas. Crews use hand tools, including chain saws, to remove fallen trees, limbs and other debris from ditches.
Helicopter larval control applications of Bti represent the largest program of EMMCP. Low flying helicopters apply a dry formulation of Bti directly to large wetlands. Funding is available to control spring mosquito species each April. Notification to the public of this helicopter program is done through local daily and weekly newspapers, local health departments and through the EMMCP web page.
Larval control at smaller wetlands is accomplished through ground applications of Bti. EMMCP personnel use portable sprayers to apply Bti to wetland areas.
Formulations of Bacillus sphaericus or time-release formulations of Altosid are applied by hand to roadside catch basins.
The larval control products Bti, Bacillus sphaericus and Altosid, which are applied to control mosquito larvae, are considered to be environmentally friendly and relatively non toxic. Residents do not need to take any special precautions due to the safety of these products and because they are applied directly to wetland areas or to catch basins.
Adult Mosquito Control
The adult mosquito control program utilizes truck mounted, ultra low volume sprayers, to apply an adult mosquito control product in neighborhood areas between dusk and 11:30 PM during the summer. Spraying is scheduled when survey traps have high mosquito populations, or when the Dept. of Public Health indicates that there is a risk of Eastern Equine Encephalitis. This wide area approach to control mosquitoes occurs in 9 of EMMCP’s member communities.
As a general public health safety measure, if residents see a spray truck approaching, they are advised to go indoors for a couple minutes while the spray dissipates. Beekeepers do not need to take any special precautions since the spraying begins after dusk. Notification to the public of this program is done through municipality web pages and listservs, the EMMCP webpage and local newspapers. The adult mosquito control product being used each week will be listed on the notices, and information about the products are listed on the EMMCP webpage under Pesticide Information/Adult Mosquito Control Pesticide.
Residents requesting further information regarding the spray program should contact the EMMCP office at (781) 899-5730. Click here for information on the process to exclude your property from public spray programs.
If requested by a city/town official, EMMCP will use a truck mounted aerosol sprayer or portable sprayer to provide adult mosquito control at a recreation area or prior to a public event.