Bay and Saginaw Co. mosquito control treatment starts April 17

Published: Apr. 14, 2023 at 11:11 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 14, 2023 at 11:27 AM EDT
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MID-MICHIGAN. (WNEM) - Spring aerial treatment for mosquito larvae control will be starting in Bay and Saginaw Counties on Monday, April 17.

The Bay County Mosquito Control and Saginaw County Mosquito Abatement Commission will be treating over 50,000 acres of flooded woodlots to control spring species of mosquito larvae breeding in the water.

There will be four yellow and white aircrafts working out of James Clements Airport in Bay City and seven yellow aircrafts working out of Harry Browne Airport in Buena Vista Township to provide the aerial services.

Over a period of seven to 10 days, Bay and Saginaw County residents may notice the low-flying aircrafts over wooded areas between 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., weather permitting.

Aircrafts will release a granular insecticide called Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI), a naturally-occurring soil bacterium that is attached to a small granule made of ground-up corn cob. The mosquito larvae eat the bacterium once the granule reaches the water.

Bay County Mosquito Control said the mosquito larvae must ingest the product during this specific time in its life cycle in order for the treatment to be effective, so timing is crucial to reduce the number of adult mosquitoes later in the spring.

“BTI has been used in Bay County’s spring aerial treatment for nearly 40 years due to its environmental compatibility and low risk to non-target species,” said Mosquito Control Manager Rebecca Brandt. “It is a naturally-occurring product containing a bacterium that specifically controls mosquito larvae, blackflies, and fungus gnats. It will not impact non-target organisms such humans, pets, birds, fish, and other aquatic organisms.”

In Saginaw County, after the aerial treatment, staff will begin community treatment and responding to requests for treatment. They said their robust surveillance program monitors weather, mosquitoes, and the viruses they transmit, which allows our control program to target and respond to mosquito concerns.

The following are ways the counties suggest residents protect themselves from mosquitos:

  • Apply insect repellent before going outside to reduce the threat of West Nile virus and other emerging mosquito-borne diseases.
  • Eliminate sources of stagnant water on their property. This includes removing water-holding containers or storing them upside down to prevent water collecting, changing bird bath and wading pool water weekly, placing fine-mesh screen over rain barrels, and disposing of old tires.
  • Ensure screens on doors and windows are functioning properly.

To help with the effort in Bay County, two scrap tire collections will be held for their residents on Saturday, June 3 at Bay County Mosquito Control, and Saturday, August 5 at Fraser Township Hall. Both collections will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A maximum of 10 passenger car sized tires without rims will be accepted per household.

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