Mosquito control saves $423,000
Contracted mosquito control efforts in Acadia Parish were extremely successful in 2008 despite the impacts of two major hurricanes, according to a report issued by Glenn Stokes, head of Mosquito Control Contractors, Inc., to the Police Jury Tuesday, Jan. 13. Acadia Parish contracted with MCCI (Mosquito Control Contractors, Inc. - longtime contractor in Acadiana) in April of last year to provide a full mosquito control program to the residents of Acadia Parish. All measures, mosquito numbers, spray requests, and mosquito-borne disease, such as West Nile, were down. Also, the total expenditures for mosquito control were down significantly.
Though Stokes repeatedly said his figures were based on figures he obtained directly from the Police Jury staff , Juror A.J. “Fatty” Broussard disputed Stokes conclusions.
Stokes attributed MCCI’s success in reducing mosquito population numbers in Acadia to:
• Locating “hot spots” for mosquitoes through more extensive surveillance.
• Precise spraying in “hot spots” and at peak flight times-morning and night.
• Creating spraying barriers to prevent mosquito spread from breeding sites.
• Spraying more in April (beginning of season) than was previously done.
• Spraying 7 days per week as opposed to 5 days, thus applying constant and continuous “insecticide pressure” on mosquito pests.
• Roadside ditch larviciding of mosquito breeding sites on a regular basis.
With advent of cool temperatures, the mosquito season is winding down.
Stokes detailed how much money the contract program of Mosquito Control Contractors has saved the taxpayers of Acadia Parish.
The total contracted amount from April 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008, has been only $409,842.
This can be compared to the original 2008 operational budget for the “in house” control program of $936,099. The “in house” expenditures for January through March of this year were $ 102,618. The total costs for mosquito control in Acadia Parish for 2008, even with the effects of two hurricanes, were only $ 512,460.
In April 2008, the Acadia Parish Police Jury, decided to go contract with its’ four-year-old mosquito control program. The Police Jury drew up a set of specifications and advertised for proposals.
After receiving three proposals, the Police Jury chose Mosquito Control Contractors, Inc. (MCCI) from New Iberia, who already ran contract programs for Lafayette and St. Mary Parishes.
When contract negotiations were going on, Glenn Stokes, president of Mosquito Control Contractors, estimated that a contract program would save the parish between 350 and 400 thousand dollars per year depending on how bad the mosquito problems were.
When the final figures (costs for mosquito control) were in, the total savings were even greater than estimated. Stokes said, “I am very pleased with the results achieved in the first year and predict that results will be even better the second and subsequent years. We intend to do whatever it takes to give the people of Acadia Parish a superior mosquito control program.”
Stokes wants to expand public information and education and implement source reduction. “Eliminating mosquito production sources is the best use of resources,” Stokes says. “That way you don’t have to spray for the mosquitoes that aren’t produced.”