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Integrated Pest Management

May contain: person, human, outdoors, water, rock, vegetation, plant, and nature

In order to accomplish long-range, intelligent, and environmentally sound mosquito control, the management of mosquitoes must use not just one but all available pest control methods. This dynamic combination of methods into one thoughtful, ecologically-sensitive program is referred to as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Sometimes when referring to vector mosquitoes, this program is referred to as Integrated Vector Management (IVM). The District’s mosquito control program employs IPM principles by first determining the species and abundance of mosquitoes through larval and adult surveillance and then using the most efficient, effective and environmentally sensitive means of control. In some situations, water management or source reduction programs can be instituted to reduce breeding areas. The District also considers biological control such as the planting of mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis). When these approaches are not practical or otherwise appropriate, then a pesticide program is used so that specific breeding areas and/or adult mosquitoes can be treated.

Alameda County contains many water sources that act as mosquito/vector breeding areas near populated areas. Without ongoing and effective mosquito control, the human environment would be significantly and adversely affected by substantial mosquito activity. The District’s mosquito control program, including biological and chemical control, is essential to abate the vectors in the environment to a tolerable level. The District’s program will never alleviate all mosquito vectors. Rather, it is a maintenance program aimed at striking a balance to allow comfortable and healthful human existence, while protecting and maintaining the environment. History has shown us that the control and abatement of vectors are necessary for our human environment to continue to be habitable.

The District mosquito control program is directed primarily at the larval stages of mosquitoes. Control activities are contained to a localized area and have a lower impact utilitizing this approach because the larvicides used by the District specifically target the mosquito’s biological systems. Although adult mosquitoes may be targeted for control, it is not the emphasis of the District program. Focusing on mosquito larvae requires that control be achieved in a number of different types of breeding sources.