Midland County Mosquito Control (MCMC) has announced plans to begin aerial mosquito treatments next week to reduce adult mosquito populations. They plan to treat approximately 110,000 – 120,000 acres of Midland County as part of the response to the recent Edenville and Sanford Dam failures and widespread flooding throughout the county. Stagnant, standing water in many places is causing extremely high and burdensome adult mosquito populations.
“After dam failures and flooding, Midland County experienced the hatching of increased numbers of mosquitoes, something we call a super brood,” said Dr. Carl Doud, MCMC director. “Normally, our adult control is performed from the ground via truck applications. But with some roads still impassable and our workforce capacity still limited due to COVID-19, we can control more adult mosquitoes and deliver more relief with treatments from the air.”
Doud said aircraft will allow the MCMC to cover in four days the number of acres it would take ground crews applying from trucks more than a month to accomplish.
Aerial applications are routinely used by Midland County Mosquito Control to provide mosquito larval control and suppress mosquito populations. This planned operation targeting adult mosquitoes will be highly effective in reducing the current floodwater mosquito populations and will improve the quality of life for residents and responders tasked with flooding clean-up, repair and rebuilding efforts.
Residents will not need to take any special precautions in advance of or during the treatment. The product selected for these applications, Merus 3.0, is the only Organic Material Review Institute (OMRI) listed adult mosquito control product for use in and around organic gardens, farms and crops, along with all residential, urban and rural settings. Merus 3.0 is registered with the U.S. EPA for adult mosquito population control and poses no undue risks to humans or the environment when used according to label guidelines.
Merus 3.0 is applied at low dosage rates — about a tablespoon treats an area the size of a football field — and is distributed through ultra-low-volume nozzles that create a fine mist of droplets that move through the air and make contact with adult mosquitoes in-flight.
The applications will be performed by two King Air Beechcraft twin-turbine aircraft flown by highly trained pilots experienced in mosquito control applications. The aircraft will fly at 300 feet and approximately 175 mph during treatment. Each King Air is equipped with onboard navigation and application systems that automatically adjust the plane’s flight path based on weather conditions. Applications will begin at dusk, when mosquito populations are most active.
“Most residents won’t even be aware this is happening,” said Doud. “The planes are very quiet and the product begins to break down immediately upon reaching the ground.”
Midland County Mosquito Control has established the treatment with all current no-spray properties already excluded. Though there will not be any harm expected to honeybee hives, all known hives are also excluded from treatment. Additional residents wishing to opt-out of treatment should call MCMC at (989) 832-8677 to add their property to the exclusion areas. Furthermore, if any bee keepers or current no-spray property owners would like to be included in the aerial treatment, they can call the same number to be added back in. In order to finalize maps and ensure accurate application, opt-out requests will need to be made by June 9 at 5 p.m.
A map of areas being treated will be posted at the MCMC website: https://mosquito-midlandcounty.hub.arcgis.com/