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Frequently Asked Questions
The slower pace of the winter season allows us to catch up on the activities that we lack time for in the summer. These include: analyzing surveillance and control data, updating GIS maps, performing resistance testing, repairing and maintaining equipment, performing water management activities, preparing reports for cooperating agencies, applying for permits, pursuing continuing education, presenting at state, regional and national conferences, updating and delivering educational materials and programs, recruiting and hiring for the next season, pre-treating outlying sites. This is also the time of year when using vacation time is encouraged.
The one-time landowner permission form is required before we are able to access private property for any TCWP activity. It does not, however, indicate to us your request for service. If you have potential mosquito habitat, adult mosquitoes, or weeds you’d like advice on treating please fill out a service request or call our office at 307.733.8419.
The District uses a scientific, data-driven approach called Integrated Mosquito Management.
Larviciding is one element of Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM). It is used for the control of immature mosquitoes in their aquatic habitats before they become biting adults. The vast majority of treatments made by the District are in the form of larvicides for the prevention of biting adult mosquitoes. The District utilizes a few different, environmentally sensitive products for larviciding. The major product used by the District is a biological control agent called Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI) that is very specific to mosquito larvae at the rate and habitats in which the District applies it. It is safe for humans, pets, wildlife, and other animals in aquatic environments.
Mosquito biting activity can be reported to the District here. This is different from a mosquito service request, in that it helps the District collect information on which areas are experiencing adverse mosquito activity.
Teton County Weed & Pest is a tax-payer funded Special District that exists to protect the entire community from mosquito-borne illness. The District only conducts mosquito adulticide treatments on a larger neighborhood or community-wide scale. As such, the District does not accept spray requests for private events or individual properties. For private events, the District suggests hiring a local pest control service. The District maintains a list of local contractors for hire.
Residents can protect themselves from mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illness by following the 7 D’s of Mosquito Prevention. For more specific information on preventing mosquito breeding on your property, see the Resident's Guide to Prevent Mosquito Breeding. Want to help your neighbors prevent mosquito breeding on their properties as well? See the Neighborhood Advocate program.
If you have found a dead bird, do not bring it to the District. Rather, dead birds can be reported here. Dead birds that meet certain criteria can be tested by the District for WNV. If testing criteria are met, the District will pick up the bird.
Vaccinations are available to help protect horses from West Nile virus. These are available from your veterinarian or local feed and tack store. It is important to also prevent breeding of vector mosquitoes on your property. For more information on the prevention of mosquito breeding on your property, view the Resident's Guide to Prevent Mosquito Breeding.
The District requires landowner permissions before we can access a property for mosquito surveillance and treatment. Landowners can indicate which mosquito services they prefer. Larvicide treatments can be made on individual properties because the mosquitoes are confined to one place while they are in the aquatic life stage. Adulticide treatments, however, are only made on larger scales such as an entire neighborhood. This is because when adult mosquitoes are on the wing, treatments can only be effective when larger areas are targeted. If your property is surrounded by no-spray requests, the District will not be able to treat the adult mosquitoes. If you still wish to have your individual property sprayed, the District suggests hiring a local contractor.
Truck-mounted ULV spraying is how the District treats adult mosquitoes. The District’s IMM program strongly emphasizes mosquito prevention to reduce the need for ULV spraying. If infectious adult mosquitoes or adverse pestiferous populations are detected, however, ULV spraying is the only technique available for the rapid reduction of adult mosquitoes. A small volume of adulticide product is atomized into very small droplets from a piece of equipment in the back of a truck and dispersed as a mist over an area where high numbers of mosquitoes are present. The adulticide acts quickly, knocking down mosquitoes it comes in contact with before quickly degrading.
The risk to the public and to the environment are very low. Adulticide products used are in the same class of compounds as topical lice treatments used for children, and tick and flea products for pets. These products are applied in low concentrations as ultra-low volume (ULV) sprays. This means that there is only a very small amount of product dispersed over a large area, typically less than two ounces per acre. Imagine a golf ball worth of low concentration product dispersed over a football field. ULV applications quickly reduce the mosquito populations they come in direct contact with before breaking down. This small amount of product quickly degrades into inert components (carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen). There is no residual activity of products used by the District, meaning the adulticides used do not persist in the environment.
The insecticide labels and Safety Data Sheets for products used by the District are available on our website. We are also available to answer any questions about the products used. Additional information about pesticides can be found on the EPA website (http://www.epa.gov) or by contacting the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) (http://npic.orst.edu) or toll free at 1-800-858-7378.
Because the products used during the ultra-low volume (ULV) applications are not specific to mosquitoes, the District only treats mosquitoes at dusk or in the evening when mosquitoes are most abundant and pollinators are not active. Beekeepers are encouraged to contact the District so we can ensure to maintain a buffer around apiaries.
Teton County Weed & Pest District utilizes Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) methods, which employs multiple tools for the safe and effective management of vector and pestiferous mosquitoes. There are numerous non-pesticide methods utilized by the District. Pesticides are just one tool from the IMM toolbox. The District relies heavily on resident’s to prevent mosquito breeding on their properties by following our Resident’s Guide. Mosquito prevention is a shared responsibility in a community.
There are many animals that will eat mosquitoes, such as bats, birds, and other insects. Mosquitoes are not considered a preferred prey of birds and bats, however. As such, while they may feed on mosquitoes intermittently, birds and bats are not considered effective control measures.