Not Just Any Flight of Fancy; on Board with the Airport Authority the Buzz about Mosquito Control

By Pettus, Mark | The Florida Times Union, October 20, 2006 | Go to article overview

Not Just Any Flight of Fancy; on Board with the Airport Authority the Buzz about Mosquito Control


Pettus, Mark, The Florida Times Union


Byline: mark pettus

The Anastasia Mosquito Control District of St. Johns County - a name that may make you wonder not just what they do, but where they do it. The answers depend on when you asked the questions.

In 1948, the district began controlling mosquitos on part of Anastasia Island. During the first year the district had to borrow a sprayer from a farm supply company. The following year, when the district received its first tax dollars, an employee was hired with a salary of $200.

Over the years the district expanded to serve all of St. Johns County, and the staff grew to 36 full-time employees. The Mosquito Control District's budget has grown from $4,500 to more than $6 million. Yet, there are still mosquitos in St. Johns County. OK, that point isn't all that amazing - the goal of the organization is not the extermination of all mosquitos in the county. But there are some specific missions, according to its Web site:

-- To serve and protect the St. Johns County residents through the prevention and control of mosquitos and mosquito-borne diseases.

-- To reduce/control both pestiferous and disease-carrying mosquito population to a low threshold using a variety of methods (Integrated Pest Management) to minimize potential impacts on people and the environment.

-- To become recognized as one of the leading mosquito control districts.

Those sound like laudable goals, even if they did include an extraneous "e" in mosquitos (accurate but unnecessary, mosquitoes is also correct), and use the word "pestiferous" - a $10 way of saying that mosquitos bug people.

The job facing folks elected to the district is deciding how the district should achieve its mission, and in the case of the last goal, whether doing research is part of the mission of a county mosquito control operation. How does the district do its job? With the following programs:

-- Surveillance: The most interesting part of the surveillance program is the use of live bait; chickens kept alive for the sole purpose of being bitten by mosquitos, and having their blood tested every week for signs of mosquito-borne diseases.

-- Control: The district's scientists use phrases like "source reduction," "biological control," "larvicides," and "adulticides." What they mean is killing the little devils - almost as cool as using live chickens for bait.

-- Research: Scientists doing scientific stuff with your tax dollars. Soon they will be doing it on an expensive piece of property near Interstate 95 and Florida 16 that the district purchased last year without first getting an appraisal, according to one board member.

-- Education: This is more important than you might think. Because mosquitos can hatch in less than 2 inches of water, its important you know not to leave those empty coke cans on your fence, unless you're planning to knock them down before the next rain. It's also important to make sure district employees know the latest mosquito-killing techniques.

-- Aerial: The current board approved the purchase of a $1.8 million helicopter. The district now pays commercial aerial spraying firms when it needs an airborne operation performed. Once they district purchases the helicopter, it will assume annual costs for hanger space, maintenance, and a pilot.

Now, you might have (at least) three questions:

1. Should the county (remember, they collect tax dollars from everywhere, not just Anastasia Island) be in the research business?

2. Does the district really need its own helicopter?

3. What's an appraisal?

Beth Bowen is the secretary/treasurer of the mosquito control district, and after serving 12 years, she is not seeking re-election. Bowen says the answer to first two questions is "yes," and she even knows what an appraisal is.

"The research we're doing is applied research," Bowen said, citing examples where such research saved the district money.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Not Just Any Flight of Fancy; on Board with the Airport Authority the Buzz about Mosquito Control
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.