History of Mosquito Control
Mosquito control began in Nassau County in 1915 as a response to mosquito-borne malarial outbreaks. Kerosene and "No. 2" fuel oil were used to coat bodies of standing water, suffocating the mosquito larvae and reducing the adult mosquito populations. The malarial threat was under control by 1920, but the practice of spraying oil on standing water continued for mosquito nuisance control. In the 1930s, after the formation of a Mosquito Commission in Nassau County, ditching became an effective way of draining salt marshes to reduce mosquito-breeding areas. In 1948, the Nassau County Department of Public Works (NCDPW) took over mosquito control in Nassau County. At that time, existing control measures were improved by mechanizing ditching procedures, using spray trucks, and using new mosquito-control products.
Integrated Pest Management
In 1999, with the outbreak of West Nile Virus (WNV), NCDPW and the Nassau County Department of Health (NCDOH) began to work together to suppress mosquito populations through mosquito surveillance and control. Both departments are committed to utilizing the integrated pest management (IPM) approach, which focuses on long-term suppression or prevention with a minimal impact on the environment and on non-target organisms.
IPM control measures emphasize prevention and promote the most environmentally benign measures, such as water management and physical control methods, and natural and biological controls, including larvicides targeted to specific areas. Pesticides that kill adult mosquitoes on contact (also called adulticides) are used only when a public health threat is imminent and other control measures have proved insufficient.
Currently the NCDPW acting as Lead Agency has determined that the Nassau County Mosquito Control and Surveillance Program may have a significant impact on the environment and that a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) will be prepared. Scoping meetings are scheduled for November 18th with interested parties and the general public to solicit comments on the Positive Declaration, Scoping Document, and Draft Plan. All three documents are included in the link found below. Additionally, a document has been prepared describing the GEIS process.