The American Mosquito Control Association held their 31st annual conference on Feb. 1 and 2 at the Blue Water Convention Center. More than 100 people attended the event, including 20 speakers. The speeches covered a variety of topics revolving around the control of the mosquito population.
Mosquitoes can be a huge risk to human health. According to their website, the AMCA’s purpose is to enhance public health through the suppression of mosquitos. The AMCA intends to improve our quality of life by formulating and enacting methods to eliminate these troublesome insects; this was also the purpose of the annual conference in Port Huron.
The AMCA is a non-profit organization founded in New Jersey in 1935, said AMCA North Central Director Mark Breidenbaugh at the conference. As Breidenbaugh stated, there are more than 1300 members of the AMCA worldwide, some of whom are scientists, students and employers/employees involved in mosquito control businesses.
Breidenbaugh said the AMCA is the leader in promoting the highest standards of professional mosquito control. They provide information and testimony to the government in order to impact policy decisions regarding mosquito-borne disease.
Dave Webb, a professor of biology at SC4, attends the conference each year. “The goal of mosquito control organizations is to protect human health by controlling mosquito populations,” Webb said. “Mosquitoes can be a serious nuisance, but more importantly, they transmit many disease-causing organisms. Malaria, yellow fever, West Nile virus, Zika virus, Dengue fever and many others are transmitted by mosquitoes.”
Any average person can easily help to control mosquito populations; one does not need to be an entomologist to do so. The AMCA suggests various simple steps that people everywhere can take to help limit mosquito populations and disease.
Because mosquitoes are notorious for breeding in stagnant water, it is important to watch out for areas where water can collect, and prevent water from collecting in those places. Bird baths, old tires, buckets, unused plant pots and more are areas where mosquitoes can happily breed and thrive, so those items should be disposed of.
Larger areas that collect water (for instance, ditches) might be a community issue, although many of the smaller areas where water gathers can be eliminated by the layman.
Unbeknownst to the homeowner, some water could be contained and trapped in less obvious areas, such as in the plastic tarps that cover pools or boats, so those locations should be checked and emptied accordingly.
More information about the American Mosquito Control Association, including ways to contact them and many alternative methods to impede the breeding of mosquitoes and the diseases they carry, can be sought at www.mosquito.org.