Service Requests

Requests for Service:

All requests for service are databased in the CMMCP computer system with town, date, name, address, service information, data collected, product application information & applicator comments. This database is kept confidential unless CMMCP is informed by higher authorities to release the information.

  1. The most common form of adulticide request CMMCP receives comes from residents contacting CMMCP via telephone or e-mail with a health concern or nuisance complaint from mosquitoes. Occasionally a resident will visit CMMCP’s headquarters and voice a mosquito related concern or complaint, and some requests are received by fax.
  2. If a member of a business or condo association, or anyone requesting adulticiding for an area not in their direct control requests an application, this request must be faxed to CMMCP on official letterhead, and must contain a contact name and phone number. CMMCP will schedule an application, with a rain date, and then call back the contact person with the dates. CMMCP informs the contact that a notice should be posted in any and all visible areas with the program information, potential dates and our phone number as well as the requesting contact person’s information.
  3.  Member town or state officials will contact CMMCP with requests on behalf of a constituency or group.
  4. Residents may contact a CMMCP employee in the field and request adulticide service. The request may be investigated then if time allows, but any adulticide spraying may have to wait for proper notification to be placed if not already done so.

Surveillance Before an Application:

Surveillance before an application may be gathered in many ways, but the most common method is called a “landing count”. Field technicians are dispatched to the general area that the adult mosquito service requests have been received and perform this procedure. A landing count consists of a field technician counting the number of mosquitoes that land on their person during a specified time. Landing counts generally take place in the late afternoon or early evening when many mosquito species become more active. The number of mosquitoes landing per minute is then recorded along with other information such as time, date, temperature, wind speed, and cloud cover. Weather information is gathered by means of electronic devises such as the Kestrel® portable weather station. Landing counts allow us to determine if our application is necessary and if the optimal conditions exist. Weather conditions also play a large role. The temperature and wind speed must not conflict with label restrictions. If mosquitoes are determined not to be in the area in sufficient numbers, or weather conditions are not favorable, we do not perform the application. This service requested will then be turned back into the CMMCP office to be rescheduled. Landing counts provide information about mammal-biting species that is used by applicators to help determine if there is a need for an adulticide application. We also use the collected adult mosquito samples from these landing counts to identify exactly what type of mosquito is prevalent in the area at that time and may help to tailor our larvicide program in the future. All landing counts are databased in the CMMCP computer system. Landing counts will not be utilized in vector control situations once virus has been identified and will be suspended for the rest of the season. Surveillance data can also be gathered by light traps, gravid traps or sent over by the Department of Public Health.


Extent of the Application:

All field staff employed by CMMCP is licensed and/or certified by the Massachusetts Pesticide Bureau. They received training to identify mosquito larvae and adults, and on the complexities in performing adulticide applications. The extent of any given application is based on many factors; current mosquito populations, weather conditions, number of requests received in an area, topography, exclusion properties and other aspects. All exclusion properties in the area are identified in the daytime and if time allows the resident is contacted. We employ 2 means of adulticiding, truck-mounted and portable sprayers. A field technician may use one or both of these devises, depending on the circumstances at the time. The application may be limited to the back yard(s), or may be extended out to included parts of, or whole neighborhoods. Listed exclusions in the area and other political or civic situations will also determine the extent of any application. The field technician is given discretion in the extent of the application according to the situation at the time and using their best judgment according to their experience and training. All applicators are in full communication with other field staff and office personnel during their shift. All spraying is done in accordance with the MSDS and label of the product in use at that time.


Timing of Applications:

Early to late evening is the time when many mosquito species are active and the product we use is most effective. The overwhelming majority of spraying by CMMCP is done during this timeframe. It also is a time that reduces the exposure to many non-target organisms.

New labeling precautions for pyrethroid products, with one exception, prohibit applications to blooming crops or weeds when bees are actively visiting the treatment area. The exception is when applications are made to prevent or control a threat to public and/or animal health determined by a state, tribal or local health or vector control agency on the basis of documented evidence of disease causing agents in vector mosquitoes, or the occurrence of mosquito borne disease in animal or human populations, or if specifically approved by the state or tribe during a natural recovery effort. Per a policy adopted by the State Reclamation & Mosquito Control Board on August 20, 2007, applications of pyrethroid products by ULV and course application have the following restrictions: When targeting species of concern and potential vectors of arboviruses, standard, locally established adult mosquito control efforts — including aerosol and foliar, may commence prior to sunset and continue after sunrise when conditions are appropriate to achieve efficacy and in accord with all other labeling directions and restrictions. The above exception applies when the following criteria are met:

  • When the risk category for the focal area is defined by the MDPH State Arbovirus Surveillance and Response Plan as level 3 (moderate probability of human outbreak) and the adult mosquito control intervention, either aerosol/space ULV or foliar/barrier application, is approved or requested in writing by the local Board of Health via letter, facsimile, e-mail, etc.; or
  • When the risk category for the focal area is defined by the MDPH State Arbovirus Surveillance and Response Plan as level 4 (high probability of human outbreak) or 5 (critical probability of human outbreak); or
  • When specifically requested or directed by the SRMCB when specifically requested or directed by the SRMCB when risk benefit analysis favors the application of pesticides.

The SRMCB can revise this policy as new information becomes available about labeling requirements in order to update and conform to those changes.


Mosquito-borne Illnesses:

Any and all applications for mosquito-bore disease such as West Nile Virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis are done in conjunction with the local Board of Health and the Mass. Department of Public Health. Many factors too numerous to outline here are considered before an applications in done for the control of vector-borne diseases. Information is available from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) website or from local Boards of Health, and is outlined in the “Massachusetts Vector Response Plan”. All components of the Children and Families Protection Act (CPA) are complied with by CMMCP. No applications to school property will be done unless all components of the CPA are up to date and in place.