Shifting Gears

September 16, 2014

Animas Mosquito Control District (AMCD) is shifting gears in its philosophy and practices!

Over the last couple of years we have made a significant shift of emphasis from adulticiding to larval control to reduce the need for spraying adult mosquitoes. Since 2012 we have been using a product called Natular as the basis of our mosquito larvae abatement program. This product, new to the market as a mosquito larvacide, has numerous advantages: 

1)     It is all natural! No chemicals! Nothing synthetic! Environmentally sustainable! 

2)     It has an Organic label, is listed with the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), which is a non-profit, independent reviewing organization certifying that this product may be used in and around organic farms and gardens!

3)     It is a new class of larvacide, with an entirely different mode of action, to combat “resistance” in mosquito populations!

4)     It not only is extremely effective as a mosquito larvacide, but is very pest specific, reducing the threat to non-target aquatic life.

5)     It provides a long-term abatement requiring fewer trips into a specific habitat to keep it mosquito free!

6)     Due to its effectiveness, the need to use other mosquito controlling products is greatly reduced. Less impact on our environment!

We have also established a policy to spray for adult mosquitoes only after dark. This not only makes adulticiding more effective, as that is when mosquitoes are most active, but eliminates the threat to bees and other pollinating insects that are active during the day. The Permethrin products that we spray have been extensively tested regarding bees and were found to pose no health threat to bees once it has dried. So by spraying only at night, the product is completely dry long before morning when bees become active!

We have added backpack blowers to our “tool chest” this year to be able to distribute Natular granules in areas that we could not previously abate effectively, as well as sensitive environments that we cannot treat from motorized vehicles.

Since the cost of Natular as a larvacide choice is very high, we have streamlined other areas of our practice to stay within our budget and be economical as well as productive. We have reduced the number of vehicles that we use, maintain, license and insure, and have reassigned responsibilities across a smaller crew to be more efficient.

In closing I have to say that you, Durango residents, have an excellent Board of Directors overseeing AMCD. They are very committed to their role at the wheel of this Public Health service to the community, which they perform without compensation. This shifting of gears has required much of their attention and I personally appreciate each one of them!

Check out this new website! It has been created to help answer many of the questions that we are frequently asked and is formatted to be readily viewed on any mobile device, including your smart phone. It too is a product of “shifting gears.”

A Public Servant
Joe Kuefler
Manager of AMCD

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