Source Reduction

Source Reduction: Eliminating conditions that support mosquito production

Source Reduction: Physical alteration or removal of mosquito larval habitat

Early in the history of mosquito control, before the introduction of modern synthetic chemicals now used for larviciding and adulticiding, it was recognized that modifying or removing mosquito habitats was an effective way of controlling mosquitoes. In fact, one of the first successful malaria control projects in Florida in the early 20th century involved significant drainage improvements in the swamps surrounding the City of Perry.

During the 1930’s thru the 1950’s, mosquito control programs in Florida relied heavily on the ditching of coastal swamps to modify tidal water flows and minimize mosquito production from the high marshland areas. However, these ditching systems were seen as very damaging to the pristine coastal environment, so the programs were halted from the 1960’s onwards. The remnants of these ditches can still be seen in aerial photos of the west-central coast of Florida, including Manatee county, and some make excellent kayak trails through the coastal mangroves.

Inadvertent source reduction has occurred with the extensive development of coastal areas of Florida which has removed millions of acres of marshes that previously served as mosquito breeding habitat.

Currently the main type of source reduction encouraged in Manatee county is the cleaning up of water holding containers in residential backyards. These serve as the larval habitat of Aedes aegypti, the most frequently encountered mosquito in our urban areas, mostly an annoying pest but also capable of transmitting dengue, chikungunya and zika viruses.

Mosquito control inspectors often find this mosquito and associated man-made containers (tires, buckets, flower pots, etc) when responding to resident’s complaints about mosquito problems. An important aspect of our service is educating the public on how they can alleviate their problems by cleaning up the containers in their backyards.


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Manatee County Mosquito Control

1420 28th Ave East
Ellenton, FL 34222