Protecting Our Community

Protecting Our Community2021-01-27T14:13:44-06:00

At MMAD, mosquito control is a multifaceted approach guided by the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Using IPM, several measures allow for an area specific, targeted approach that minimizes negative effects on the environment and non-target organisms.


Surveillance is perhaps the single most important component to our operation. We strive to use the best methods available to us to locate, collect, identify and test mosquitoes throughout our district. Our mosquito trap network helps to monitor mosquito populations for abundance and disease presence. These efforts allow for us to make targeted treatment decisions in real time.

Larval/pupal mosquito surveys provide critical information for our control efforts. The surveys are conducted on a regular basis to determine the extent, type, and concentration of mosquito populations within the district. Potential mosquito breeding sources are inspected regularly throughout the season. We maintain weekly inspection of over 800 mapped sites throughout the summer months. Follow-up post-treatment inspections and evaluation helps to ensure the success of control procedures.
The potential for the occurrence, amplification, and spill-over to the human population of mosquito-borne disease is a combination of numerous factors. Two mosquito-related factors, in combination, are important in West Nile Virus (WNV) cycle. These factors are the mosquito vector population levels and the infection rate within the vector mosquito population. The District has been tracking vector (Culex spp.) population levels for many years. The use of gravid traps provides a superior collection tool for our vector surveillance. Gravid traps are specialized traps that collect live gravid adult female mosquitoes, primarily Culex species. Gravid mosquitoes are female mosquitoes that have taken a blood meal and are ready to lay eggs. Because they have taken at least one blood meal, it is more likely that they have been exposed to WNV. The District uses gravid traps to sample the adult female Culex mosquito population to test for the presence of disease viruses as well as to observe vector mosquito population levels. The samples from these traps are tested in-house for the presence of a disease organism (in the case of WNV) with the RAMP (Rapid Analyte Measurement Platform) system. The results from these test are known within minutes.

Source Reduction

Source reduction is the elimination of breeding sites. Typically, these are manmade sources such as unkept swimming pools, ornamental ponds and other debris capable of holding water. This is one of the most effective methods of mosquito control that both we as professionals and residents can monitor without the use of pesticides.

In peak season, when conditions are optimal, mosquitoes can develop in 5-7 days. Residents are encouraged to tip and toss water that has been left standing for longer than a few days. Items meant to hold water such as bird baths and water dishes for outdoor animals should be refreshed regularly.

Larval Control

Larval control is the application of products that help reduce mosquito populations by either killing or preventing the growth of mosquito larvae while they are confined within standing water sources. Larval control applications are a logical next step when source reduction is not possible.

The mosquito goes through four stages in its life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.  Mosquitoes are confined to water during their larval and pupal stages, where they are localized and concentrated in numbers. Mosquito control efforts used by the District focus on larval/pupal control, and where possible, source elimination. Controlling mosquitoes at this stage, before they can hatch off the water and take flight, allows our District to use the most efficient, environmentally safest and most economical methods available. These control methods are accepted and recommended by the Illinois Department of Public Health and are continuously evaluated by the District to ensure desired goals.
We use several different types of products for larval control. Using bacterial control products kill larvae by interrupting their digestive system. Examples of these products we use are Bascillus sphaericus, Bascillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis and Spinosid. Methoprene is a synthesized insect growth regulator similar to the naturally occurring hormone found in mosquito larvae. Its use is to prevent larvae from maturing past the pupal stage. Lastly, a degradable mosquito larviciding oil is used to suffocate both the larvae and pupae. Once mosquitoes reach the adult stage and take flight, they are much more difficult to effectively control.

Adult Mosquito Control

Adult mosquito control is our last line of defense and is strictly regulated. We use this control method to immediately suppress the number of adult mosquitoes in an area only when several specific thresholds are met such as overabundance or a threat of disease transmission has been detected based on our surveillance data. These applications are conducted at dusk and are designed to target mosquitoes when they are most active.

Find information about controlling adult mosquitoes with sprays from the Department of Public Health here.

Articles & Updates

Educating the public about the life-cycle of mosquitoes and the role they play as potential vectors is a critical component of how we protect our residents. Often times, mosquito breeding sites are cryptic and difficult to spot, even by seasoned professionals. When equipped with the right information, residents become great assets in helping to manage mosquito populations within their own communities by eliminating breeding sites and educating their neighbors.

Contact Us

Mon–Thurs: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Fri: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Mon–Thurs: 8:00am – 4:00pm
Fri: 8:00am – 2:00pm

3755 Cundiff Rd
Decatur, IL 62526


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