As part of our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, Volusia County Mosquito Control utilizes aircraft for inspection and treatment of mosquitoes.
Aerial Mosquito Inspections
Aerial inspections are routinely conducted throughout the week to check the status of historical mosquito production sites. This includes documenting the presence of water, mosquito larvae, and fish at each of the sites. Inspections are also conducted as needed to look for new areas that may produce mosquitoes. The helicopters land directly in the water so that a sample of the mosquito larvae can be collected and submitted to our lab for identification of species.
Based upon information collected during inspections, an aerial larvicide mission may be planned to prevent the mosquito larvae from emerging into adult mosquitoes. These operations are conducted during the daytime hours using liquid or granular products. The product chosen depends on the habitat, species and age of the mosquito larvae, and expected rainfall. The product is applied directly to the water and it's mode of action is specifically targeted to mosquito larvae.
Our mosquito surveillance program monitors mosquito populations and mosquito-borne virus activity. As part of our IPM program, multiple actions are taken to reduce mosquito populations such as source reduction to reduce mosquito habitats, education of residents in ways they can help us reduce mosquitoes, larviciding to prevent mosquitoes from emerging as adults, and distribution of mosquito fish (Gambusia) as a biological control. Adulticiding operations are planned when adult mosquito populations increase and risk of mosquito-borne illness is elevated. Aerial adulticide operations may be conducted by helicopter or contracted fixed wing aircraft using Micronair atomisers to produce spray droplets calibrated to a size smaller than a mosquito. These operations are conducted after sunset or before sunrise when bees are not actively foraging and resting in their hives to reduce risk of exposure.
Adulticide operations are planned based on surveillance data and not on a routine schedule. This online webmap shows both planned and recently completed spray operations in red for ground operations and purple for air operations. Click on the sprayed area in the map to see the exact treatment date. Planned operations will typically be updated by 3pm each day. Larvicide operations are not posted on this map.
Aerial Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Question: I just saw a helicopter flying low, is that you?
Answer: We utilize helicopters to inspect for mosquito larvae and also treatment of mosquitoes. We fly low to ensure the treatment is hitting the application area. It is common for our pilots to perform steep turns to enter and exit a treatment zone safely. We have a written agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which allows us to fly lower than the minimum safe altitudes declared in the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR 91.119) to perform our public health mission.
Q: Do you have a yellow helicopter?
A: Mosquito Control's aircraft fleet consists of a yellow MD NOTAR helicopter and white with blue accents Bell 206L-4 helicopter. We also use contracted services for fixed wing planes for nighttime adulticide operations.
Links for More Information:
For more information about mosquito control aerial operations please visit the links below to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UF PIE Prevent & Protect website: