THERE ARE NO MOSQUITOS HERE. Why do we need an Mosquito Control District?
This is the question asked over and over to Doug Carlson, Director of the Indian River Mosquito Control District. But if there was no District, the above photo depicts what he says would happen here in Indian River County within two years.
People who have lived in Indian River County for many years understand the importance of mosquito control, particularly after Hurricane David in 1979; but the newcomers are the ones who question the District’s taxing authority when there are no mosquitos.
Director Carlson seems to operate his District “under the radar.” Residents never attend public meetings, there appear to be no political issues, except for a few years ago when a few people criticized the District for wasting money without pointing to anything in particular.
The District basically operates on autopilot, carrying out its functions to control mosquitos and representing the taxpayers. The District decreased its budgeted millage rate from 2013 to 2015 to offset the 15% increase in 2012. In 2011 the millage rate decreased 10.1%.
Mosquito Control District Commissioners focus on the big picture. They guide the District with concern as to how the District allocates resources such as equipment and personnel. They oversee the the Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM), address policy decisions, develop for criterion for how the District sprays, evaluate and approve budgets and the millage rate.
In terms of the big picture, District Commissioners are responsible, in conjunction with Director Carlson and his team, to 1) control pest and nuisance mosquitos and 2) oversee surveillance and control of potentially dangerous disease transmitting mosquitos that would circulate a virus.
To convey how mosquito control has benefited the State of Florida, this map illustrates how in 1838 a huge section of Florida, where we now live was called Mosquito County.
We extend a special thanks to Director Carlson for contributing to this article.
Additionally, since there is so much more to the story of the Indian River Mosquito Control District, this will be the first of two articles. Our next article will be about their two types of mosquito spraying.