REPORT OF THE PLYMOUTH COUNTY MOSQUITO CONTROL PROJECT


The Commissioners of the Plymouth County Mosquito Control Project are pleased to
submit the following report of our activities during 2004.

The Project is a special district created by the State Legislature in 1957, and is now
composed of all Plymouth County towns, the City of Brockton, and the Town of
Cohasset in Norfolk County. The Project is a regional response to a regional problem,
and provides a way of organizing specialized equipment, specially trained employees,
and mosquito control professionals into a single agency with a broad geographical
area of responsibility.

The 2004 season began with a normal water table until record April precipitation
produced large numbers of spring and summer brood mosquitoes throughout the
County. Efforts were directed at larval mosquitoes starting with the spring brood.
Ground and aerial larviciding was accomplished using B.t.i., an environmentally
selective bacterial agent. Upon emergence of the spring brood of mosquitoes, ultra-low
volume adulticiding began. The Project responded to 9,420 requests for service from
residents.

In response to the elevated threat of virus in the district, we increased our trapping,
aerial and ground larviciding, and adult spray in areas of concern to protect public
health.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus was first isolated from Culex species, a human biting
species, by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health from Project collections in
Middleboro on August 3, 2004. Of the season's total of thirty nine EEE isolates, fifteen
were from Plymouth County as follows: Halifax (8/4, 8/11, 8/18, 9/13 (2), and 9/20),
Kingston (8/18, and 8/19), Middleboro (8/3, 8/24 and 8/25), Pembroke (8/31 and 9/8),
Plymouth (9/8), Rockland (9/4). Four human cases of EEE were confirmed including
two fatalities (Brockton and Holbrook). These cases came from four towns in two
counties (Plymouth County: Brockton and Middleboro), (Norfolk County: Holbrook and
Foxboro). Seven horses tested positive for EEE in Massachusetts with three in
Plymouth County: Middleboro (2) 9/2 and 9/15 and East Bridgewater (1) 10/2. We
normally end our spray season on Labor Day. This year, because of increased virus
isolations, we extended our residential spray program three weeks into September.
Municipality based requests for area wide spray continued throughout the district
through October 4, 2004. Based on guidelines defined by the "Vector Control Plan to
Prevent EEE" in Massachusetts, Southeastern Massachusetts will be at a "high level of
EEE risk" beginning the 2005 season.

We are pleased to report that in 2004 there were no human West Nile Virus cases  
Plymouth County. No horse cases occurred during the season and two birds tested
positive for WNV (one in East Bridgewater and one in Marshfield). The recurring
problem of EEE and WNV continues to ensure cooperation between this Project and
the Department of Public Health. In an effort to keep the public informed, EEE and
WNV activity updates are regularly posted on our web site,
www.plymouthmosquito.com  and Massachusetts Department of Public Health at
www.state.ma.us/dph/wnv/wnv1.htm.

The figures specific to the Town of Abington are given below. While mosquitoes do not
respect town lines the information given below does provide a tally of the activities
which have had the greatest impact on the health and comfort of Abington residents.

Insecticide Application. 1,864 acres were treated using truck mounted sprayers for
control of adult mosquitoes. More than one application was made to the same site if
mosquitoes reinvaded the area. The first treatments were made in June and the last in
September.

Aerial Application. Larviciding woodland swamps by helicopter before the leaves
come out on the trees continues to be very effective. In Abington this year we aerially
larvicided 100 acres.

Our greatest effort has been targeted at mosquitoes in the larval stage, which can be
found in woodland pools, swamps, marshes and other standing water areas. Inspectors
continually gather data on these sites and treat with highly specific larvicides when
immature mosquitoes are present.

Water Management. During 2004 crews removed blockages, brush and other
obstructions from 3,965 linear feet of ditches and streams to prevent overflows or
stagnation that can result in mosquito breeding. This work, together with machine
reclamation, is most often carried out in the fall and winter.

Finally, we have been tracking response time, which is the time between notice of a
mosquito problem and response by one of our inspectors. The complaint response
time in the Town of Abington was less than two days with more than 193 complaints
answered.

Mosquito Survey. A systematic sampling for the mosquitoes in Abington indicates
that Aedes vexans was the most abundant species. Other important species collected
include Culiseta melanura and Coquillettidia perturbans.

We encourage citizens or municipal officials to call our office for information about
mosquitoes, mosquito-borne diseases, control practices, or any other matters of
concern.

Respectfully submitted,

Raymond D. Zucker, Superintendent

Commissioners:
Carolyn Brennan, Chairman
Michael J. Pieroni, Vice-Chairman
Leighton F. Peck, Secretary
William J. Mara
Kenneth W. Ludlam, Ph.D.
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Plymouth County Mosquito Control  2004 Annual Report
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