Adult Mosquito Surveillance & Disease Monitoring

Monitoring Adult Mosquito Populations: The Role of Light Traps and Landing Rate Counts

During the months from April to November, we routinely set out light traps baited with 3lbs. of dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) at predetermined locations throughout the county, as well as conducting daily landing rate counts. Both of these give us valuable information regarding adult mosquito populations.

One of the more important year round surveillance projects is the monitoring of our sentinel chicken flocks for mosquito-borne viruses. We have flocks scattered throughout the county with the sole purpose of providing us with an early indicator for St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE), Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and West Nile Viruses (WNV).

Sentinel Chicken Flocks: An Early Warning System for Mosquito-Borne Viruses

Every week we visit our chicken flocks to bleed them for virus analysis. The blood is drawn, spun down in a centrifuge, and sent to the Florida Department of Health Tampa Branch laboratory. The lab tests the blood for antibodies to the SLE, EEE, and WNV viruses. If antibodies are present, then we up the tempo of our surveillance From this point our main concern is to keep track of where the virus might be moving by sampling our chickens.

From Detection to Action: Tracking and Analyzing Virus Movement and Vectors

Our attention then shifts to identifying the species of mosquito responsible for carrying the virus. This is done by collecting and identifying mosquitoes from the infected bird site and sending them to the State Epidemiology Lab for Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) analysis.

Larval Mosquito Surveillance and Inspections

Finding the source of the mosquito populations

Our inspectors are out every day, checking known mosquito habitats for the presence of mosquito larvae so they can be treated and eliminated before turning into biting adults. Our inspectors average 10-20 years of service with the District and so are highly experienced, knowing where and when to find larval mosquitoes in their natural habitats. When found, they use larvicide products to treat the mosquitoes, or report the area to the flight department for helicopter treatment.

The inspectors may also respond to service requests from the public, visiting the property in question, identifying the mosquito species and determining the larval habitats that are the source of the problem. In the case of urban backyard mosquitoes, the inspectors will educate the public on what they can do themselves to eliminate their problems.


Get In Touch

Manatee County Mosquito Control

1420 28th Ave East
Ellenton, FL 34222