Why do mosquitoes bite?
Only female mosquitoes bite or take a "blood meal." The blood is necessary for the development of her eggs.
Typically, both male and female mosquitoes feed on plant nectar. The plant sugars provide energy for the mosquito. After the male mates with the female mosquito, eggs will begin to grow in her abdomen. For most species, it is crucial she take a "blood meal" from an animal. The protein from the blood causes the eggs to develop properly.
The Lake County Mosquito Management Section manages mosquitoes and other biting arthropods of public health importance in order to reduce the risk of arboviral disease transmission and to ensure a reasonable quality of life for all residents and visitors of Lake County.
Adult Mosquito Surveillance
The Mosquito Management Section deploys a series of 36 New Jersey Light Traps at various locations throughout the County to determine the fluctuation in adult-mosquito populations.
These trap sites are randomly selected to avoid any bias in the collection data. Based upon surveillance analysis and the number of service requests received, adult-mosquito spray operations can be justified in order to meet current state and federal regulations governing the application of pesticides.
New Jersey Light Trap
Trap samples are collected twice a week and the samples are counted and identified to species. Known mosquito-breeding sites are surveyed periodically to document trends in mosquito production.
Mosquito Spray Truck
Adult-mosquito populations are managed by the use of spray trucks operating Monday through Friday from dusk to midnight. The County is divided into 12 spray regions and spray truck operators are assigned to one or more of these regions each night based upon surveillance analysis and service requests.
Operations usually commence in April and end in December. Malathion and permethrin are the pesticides primarily used for ground adulticiding activities.
Mosquito Inspection and Larviciding
Mosquito larvae and pupae are searched for and managed to help in reducing the emerging adult-mosquito populations at the source. Three full-time field
operations personnel and two entomologists search for possible mosquito breeding sites in assigned areas of the County and, if larvae are found, apply chemical and/or biological control methods.
Pesticides used for ground larviciding include Bacillus thurngiensis israelensis (Bti), monomolecular surface oils and temephos. Biological control agents include the mosquito fish Gambusia spp. Public-service requests are investigated by mosquito-management staff to determine the scope of the mosquito problem and the appropriate management measures to be taken. Public awareness and education on eliminating mosquito-breeding sources are a primary goal of this section.
Arthropod Breeding Site Management
Some aquatic plants found in certain water bodies and drainage ditches may provide suitable breeding habitats for some disease vectoring arthropods. When the need arises, the Aquatic Plant Management Section will treat these aquatic plants to help manage arthropod breeding and, when deemed necessary, restore the flow of drainage ditches to original capacity. This work is performed by the use of herbicides or, when practical, by reclamation.
Mosquito Management Procedures
Aquatic Midges (Blind Mosquitoes)
Purple Martins and Mosquitoes
Bats and Mosquitoes
Additional Resources and Links