MPIRG Student Works to Reduce Pesticide Application

11.03.15 Post by Erik Hatlestad

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Following the 2015 mosquito season at Cass County Vector control, Biological Field Aide and MPRIG constituent Brett Drevlow performed analysis of historical mosquito trap data in and around Fargo North Dakota. The intent of this effort was to better aid in the direction of adult mosquito pesticides applications, thus to ensure maximum effectiveness and to, hopefully, moderate usage.

Utilizing data collected by standardized methods during the past six years , Director Ben Prather, Brett, and recently, other Field Aides set out on the process of mining the vast pool of observations to identify trends and commonalities.

Daily trap speciation totals from over a dozen unique locations was attacked in various ways in order to improve the understanding of the complex dynamics of the mosquito population in the Fargo Metro Area.

This work has allowed improvements to the method of recording mosquito population observations as well as enhanced the understanding of how individual sampling locations relate to the larger system of mosquito populations as a whole. Thusly, enabling Cass County Vector Control a greater ability to provide effective service to the public, ensure public health, while maximizing pesticide efficacy.

Before the start of 2016 mosquito control season, implementation of the lessons learned during data mining process will expand to the remaining 30 daily trapping locations that have yet to be analyzed. Utilization of the knowledge gained through the data analysis will be fully applied next summer during the deployment of adult mosquito control applications.

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