Bay County Building
515 Center Avenue
Bay City, Michigan 48708-5941

Spring Aerial Mosquito Treatment to Begin the Week of April 13, 2020

Press Release - For Immediate Release
Contact: Bay County Mosquito Control, Rebecca J. Brandt or Mary J. McCarry
Phone: (989) 894-4555

As part of a public health initiative to provide for the protection and well-being of Bay County residents, Bay County Mosquito Control will begin conducting its 2020 Spring Aerial Mosquito Treatment the week of April 13, concentrating efforts on flooded woodlots throughout Bay County.  After thorough review, and in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order, this treatment has been designated as an essential operation in order to serve critical public health needs to reduce mosquito-borne disease.

Over a period of 7-10 days, Bay County residents may notice low-flying, yellow or white fixed-wing aircraft over wooded areas between 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., weather permitting. Controlling mosquito larvae is a critical step in Bay County’s comprehensive mosquito control program. To prevent the emergence of biting adult mosquitoes, over 50,000 acres of flooded woodlots will be treated with Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), targeting larval stage mosquitoes hatched in the standing water. The larvae must ingest the bacterium to be effective which is why it is crucial to time aerial treatment to the stage when mosquito larvae feed most heartily.Mosquito Control Manager Rebecca Brandt notes that“Bti is a naturally-occurring public health product containing a soil bacterium that specifically affects mosquito larvae, black flies, and fungus gnats. It has low impact to non-target organisms such humans, pets, birds, fish, and other aquatic organisms.”The bacterium is attached to a corn cob granule and applied at 3 pounds per acre.

The aerial treatment program has taken place for over thirty years in Bay County. Timing of the aerial campaign is extremely important, weather dependent, and is based on larval development in the woods. Therefore, careful surveillance of the mosquito population before treatment is extremely important. Surveillance and quality control during the application will necessitate three staff members monitoring woodlots throughout the County during the time of treatment. Mosquito Control has implemented a Pandemic Preparedness Plan which includes extra sanitation procedures and social distancing expectations in order to protect the health and safety of staff and the public during this treatment activity.

To further reduce mosquito habitats in Bay County,Mosquito Control was awarded an $8,000 Scrap Tire Clean-Up Grant by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Two scrap tire collections will be held for Bay County residents this summer,Saturday, May 30, at Bay County Mosquito Control, and Saturday, August 8, at Fraser Township Hall, both from 9am-2pm. Up to 10 passenger car-sized tires without rims per household will be accepted.

In order to reduce the threat of West Nile virus and other emerging mosquito-borne diseases, residents’ best protection against mosquito bites is to apply insect repellent before going outside when mosquitoes are active, from spring through fall. Individuals can also prevent mosquitoes from breeding in their own backyard by eliminating sources of stagnant water on their property including dumping containers, recycling scrap tires, and keeping pools maintained and covered.

Bay County Mosquito Control is a division of the Bay County Environmental Affairs and Community Development department. Manager Rebecca Brandt can be reached at(989) 894-4555 for more information about the aerial larval control program.###