Surveillance

To better understand the current mosquito populations across the district we rely on a widespread surveillance plan. There are 21 permanent trap sites positioned in various locations throughout the district. Each of the sites has a new jersey light Trap and a rain gauge.  Eighteen of the trap sites also have a chicken coop alongside the trap. The trap is controlled by a timer which is set to trap mosquitoes on specified days. These traps use a single light bulb as the lure for adult mosquitoes. The 18 sites that have a chicken coop are very attractive to many species of mosquitoes because the chickens are present. Mosquitos are collected several times weekly and brought back to the lab, where they are counted and sorted by species and the data is then recorded. This data is used to determine where and when to adulticide.  Once a week, our technicians take small blood samples from each bird at the coop sites. These samples are sent to a lab in Tampa where testing is done to determine if any of the chickens have been subjected to any mosquito-born illnesses such as West Nile Virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitus. Once a bird has tested positive for an illness it is replaced by a fresh bird that was raised inside a mosquito proof structure located at the SWCMCD headquarters.