Bay County Mosquito
Midland County Mosquito
Saginaw County Mosquito
Tuscola County Mosquito
The 2017 treatment season will go down in the books as one of Bay County’s most significant, as a summer’s worth of rain was tallied in a matter of days. Portions of Bay County received record flooding at the end of June, requiring 4 weeks of extended larviciding and adulticiding in response through July. CDC trap counts numbered in the thousands over a few weeks with species ranging from typical floodwater species of Aedes vexans to Psorophora ferox to even some Aedes canadensis. Citizen requests were near constant for almost 3 weeks and peaked at around 150 calls a day in mid-July. Our greatest asset in responding to the flood was our outstanding staff who worked together diligently during an extremely demanding 4 week period.
With the assistance of Bay County Emergency Services, Bay County Mosquito Control is eligible to receive a portion of flood response dollars back through the Section 19 Flood Response Grant. It is estimated that BCMC spent in excess of $35,000 beyond normal treatment costs in response to the flooding.
West Nile virus activity in Bay County was more elevated this year than in recent past with 22 birds, 16 of 472 mosquito pools, and a blood donor testing positive for the virus as reported through the Health Department.
An August tire drive in Fraser Township collected 995 tires and we have been promptly reimbursed through the MDEQ Scrap Tire Grant.
We were fortunate to have a dry August and September that kept nuisance species at bay and allowed our exhausted staff to recoup, however warm temperatures and increased West Nile virus disease activity kept our treatment season on-going until September 29.
A number of public outreach opportunities took place this summer with presentations to local township officials and the YMCA, displays at the Farmers Market and Consumers Energy Family Day, and an open house during the Bay County Fair. Active involvement with local work groups included the Bay City Public Schools STEM program, Bay City/Bay County GIS work group, MiCAMP, Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network State of the Bay conference, and the Saginaw Bay CISMA phragmites boat tour.
Rebecca Brandt, Manager
We are now catching our breath after a truly extraordinary season. The flood in June has got to be the most significant mosquito event in MCMC’s history. Sure, we have suffered floods before, but never one of this size that occurred at the opportune time of late June. As a result, it was the “perfect storm” – literally - that triggered a mass
hatch of both spring and summer Aedes species. This was of course also during the time of maximum Coquillettidia perturbans emergence, which come from cattail marsh habitats. This made it unbearable for many in the county, several of whom let us know about it. I am very grateful to the crew, who stepped up to the challenge, many working several hours of overtime and coming in at night to fog after working a full day shift as well. Joyce and Cody in the office answered thousands of trouble calls and returned every call that went to voicemail during the height of the phone traffic. The Biology crew kept up with the WNV surveillance and counted more mosquitoes from traps than ever.
As if the mosquitoes were not enough, a significant level of West Nile virus was observed this season as well. Twenty nine birds tested positive for WNV. Compare this to our average of four positive birds per season, and until 2017 the most we had seen in a single season was 16. Furthermore, the first WNV positive horse in the county was observed. As of 4 October, there have been no reported human cases. We keep our fingers crossed.
As a result of the high level of WNV activity and warm weather into September, our crews continued nighttime fogging an additional 2 ½ weeks.
As a result of the staff’s response to the challenges of 2017, the Midland County Board of Commissioners recognized the entire mosquito control department during an employee appreciation ceremony. Well deserved.
With the lessons learned from this season fresh on our minds, we consider ways we can better prepare and respond to future floods and disease threats with the goal of always improving.
Things now are winding down after a whirlwind of a year. There will be plenty to discuss and present on at the coming MMCA meeting. Hope all have a great fall!
Carl Doud, Director
As predicted in July, the excessive rainfall in June, which caused flooding along the Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers, produced a very large nuisance mosquito population. This near historical nuisance challenged control operations for nearly a month in portions of the County. As nuisance populations subsided in late July, West Nile virus (WNV) activity continued to increase. Currently our routine mosquito borne disease surveillance has found 30 corvids (crows and blue jays) and 14 mosquito samples positive for WNV. This is a marked increase in WNV activity when compared to the past couple years where we recorded only 9 and 8 positive corvids. All crews and equipment were very busy addressing both nuisance and virus activity.
Our control response to July’s nuisance comprised of additional spray shifts; working weekends and overtime; and limiting the number of special yard treatments. The latter is necessary as it allows our operations to move throughout the community in a judicious and effective manner. Spraying from the roadways allows for a greater community impact as a truck can treat 30 miles of road compared to just 18 yard treatments in a normal spray shift. Additional control efforts have been utilized to address the habitats responsible for producing the WNv carrying Culex mosquitoes; including multiple treatments of catch basins, neglected swimming pools, tires, and sewage lagoons. Our staff has done an exceptional job in addressing and responding to citizen concerns, whether it was from the office or the field.
As of writing this report, dry weather has halted most nuisance activity. However, the intentional flooding of State land for waterfowl has resulted in substantial nuisance for communities along its border. The MDNR’s September flooding normally is not a problem as normal fall temperatures prohibit sustained nuisance. However, this year’s
very warm fall has increased the length of our season allowing for October nuisance. We are looking forward to the return of seasonal temperatures and the absence of nuisance and arbovirus.
Our source reduction efforts resulted in over 7,000 scrap tires being removed from Saginaw County’s environment this season. Tires were collected at our facility and two, week long tire drives.
Our Education Department is currently back in local schools with multiple presentations scheduled. This summer the department engaged citizens at multiple community events addressing questions and concerns in regards to mosquitoes, mosquito-borne disease, and their control; events included the Saginaw County Fair, Friday Night Live, Children’s Zoo, and Saginaw County Park events.
William Stanuszek, Director
This season will be remembered for a long time for the many challenges. June storms brought major flooding which impacted the upper portion of Tuscola County, while the low lying areas were not greatly impacted.
June 1st Biologist, Gavin Greer presented an educational program to the second graders at Caro Elementary.
Gavin was also kept very busy this season with an unusually high number of WNV positive mosquito pools, 540 pools were sent to MSU for testing with 84 of those being positive, all were from our sewage lagoons. However the lab has been re-testing these pools with some coming back negative. We tested eight crows in house this season with one testing positive for WNV.
After some investigating it was found that the water levels in the lagoons were kept down due to a state inspection that was due this year, allowing weeds to grow around the perimeters of the ponds making an ideal breeding location.
Tuscola County held eight tire drives throughout the county collecting over 4,000 tires.
We also have been testing a Monitor 4S model variable flow monitor in one of our trucks this season with great results.
We look forward to attending the upcoming 7F Training day in October.
Kimberly Green, Director