Source Reduction is the permanent removal of mosquito breeding habitat through the elimination of standing water
The removal of standing water is the most effective way to control mosquitoes around the home and community. SCMAC’s Source Reduction Program seeks to reduce the amount of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne disease within communities through education and habitat removal.
The following source reduction strategies are employed to achieve this goal:
- Homeowner education and consultation
- Search and Inform Program
- Household Scrap Tire Collection Program
- Neglected Pool Program
Mosquito breeding habitat (standing water) comes in various forms, varying from artificial habitats such as tires and buckets to natural habitats like floodwater found in low areas. In either case, the elimination of these mosquito sources are often possible; simply dumping or removing artificial habitats or draining standing water can eliminate local mosquito threats.
Citizens will occasionally ask questions in regard to draining water from yards, woodlots, or ditches. SCMAC looks to provide them with information as to possible drainage solutions. Mosquito Control with the help of the Saginaw County Public Works Department can provide homeowners guidance through information or site consultations.
Search and Inform Program
SCMAC prides itself in providing residents with information that can help control mosquitoes in and around their yard and community. Our technicians canvas neighborhoods educating homeowners while looking for sources of mosquito breeding; specifically artificial habitats that can be simply emptied or removed. This program often targets urban and suburban areas where these habitats are both abundant and pose a public health concern. The following mosquito habitats are frequently encountered by technicians: buckets, tarps, old boats, bird baths, toys, tires, swimming pools, flower pots, trash cans, kiddie pools, and ornamental ponds.
Household Scrap Tire Collection
In 2004 legislation was passed in Michigan making it illegal to dump scrap tires into landfills. This action resulted in an abundance of tires dumped in ditches, fields, woods, and yards. Since 2015, annual funding assistance is sought through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Scrap Tire Cleanup Grant. This grant helps offset costs associated with our Household Scrap Tire Collection Program and reduces the number of tires that promote mosquito breeding.
Prior to 2015, funding assistance for this program was provided through Saginaw County Solid Waste.
As a service to Saginaw County residents and an effort to reduce the number of mosquitoes, SCMAC operates two, week-long household scrap tire drives along with tire drop-off at our facility. Tire collection at our facility usually runs from May 1st through August 31st with all collected tires transported to First Class Tire Shredders where they are shredded and utilized in various capacities. Tires are limited to a total of 10 household tires (without rims), passenger size only (car and pickup truck) per address, per year. Semi, tractor, and heavy equipment tires are not accepted. Businesses and other revenue generating enterprises are excluded from this program.
Neglected Pool Program
Neglected swimming pools are capable of breeding very large populations of Culex mosquitoes, the primary West Nile virus vector. Mosquito Control, along with the Public Health Department, take these habitats very serious as they pose a threat to public health. Pools are monitored for mosquito breeding routinely throughout the season, as well as kiddie pools, hot-tubs, and ornamental ponds. This program has achieved much success with many pools removed or reopened.
Historic Source Reduction Projects
SCMAC has drained a large amount of standing water over the last few decades. Mosquito Control provided engineered drainage solutions, prior to 2015, to qualified residents through a SCMAC funded drainage program. This program was eliminated due to engineering and construction costs far exceeding those associated with larva control.
Nearly 400 projects were completed with over 1,000 catch basins placed to eliminate standing water in yards, parks, churches, ballfields, and other community areas. It is important that SCMAC monitor these projects and treat the catch basins for mosquitoes.