Understanding the biology of the mosquito helps us control them successfully. The Grand Forks Health Department has an active mosquito control surveillance program. The Mosquito Surveillance Division is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and recommending the type of action necessary to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne disease in our community. Mosquito traps are distributed throughout the community. The Information gained from these traps include:
Mosquito Population (daily trap count) – helps us determine the need to spray the city and lets us know if the spray was effective.
The types (species) of mosquitoes – Some mosquitoes are just annoying pests, but our region has the Culex tarsalis, the most common mosquito for transmitting West Nile virus. We collect and test these mosquitoes to help us reduce the risk of this disease in our community.
Mosquito Activity – Knowing when the mosquitoes are most active is important for getting the best results from our spray. To be effective, the mosquito needs to come in contact with the chemical and this happens best when the mosquito is in-flight. Rotator traps are used to monitor the time mosquitoes are most active.
Gender Identification – Knowing the sex of the mosquito can be helpful in predicting a new hatch. Male mosquitoes hatch out before females. Therefore, if we see a spike in the number of male mosquitoes in the traps, we know there’s a potential for an increase of females. That data is helpful in preparing us for a citywide spray. It’s a short warning to get ready.