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Integrated Vector Management

Integrated Vector Management (IVM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to vector management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. The District's IVM program uses current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of vectors and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available vector control methods, is used to manage vector nuisance and public health threats by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.

Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District's IVM includes vector surveillance, source reduction and/or elimination, public education, biological control, and chemical control.


The District utilizes an extensive surveillance program for both adult and immature (larval) mosquitoes. Throughout Butte County the District uses 28 New Jersey light traps, 31 gravid traps, 7 sentinel chicken flocks, B&G Sentinel Traps, Dyna Traps, and over 40 CO2 traps to monitor adult mosquito abundance and virus activity. District Mosquito Control Specialists monitor larval mosquito populations throughout the entire county on a daily basis utilizing a standard one-pint dipper. District Mosquito Control Specialists spend the majority of their daily routine inspecting standing water such as rice, wetlands, storm drains, ponds, ditches, swimming pools, bird baths, fountains and other man made containers for larvae.

The District utilizes an entomology department (Lab) that is staffed with an Entomologist, Vector Ecologist/Fish Biologist, and a seasonal Lab Assistant. The District's entomology department is responsible for the identification of the trapped mosquito collections and reporting the population numbers to the California Department of Public Health. The lab conducts virus testing on live mosquitoes, live ticks, dead wild birds, and sentinel chicken flocks. These tests are the Districts eyes to monitor and detect mosquito-borne and vector-borne viruses in and around the county. The lab also conducts scientific pesticide trials to monitor the chemicals effectiveness on targeted mosquitoes and to assess the possible effects of non-targets and trials on new chemical methodology and/or new chemicals. The lab is also at your service to identify ticks, arachnids, and other insects.

Source Reduction and/or Elimination

The best means of mosquito control is source elimination. All mosquitoes need water to breed, unfortunately water is vital to keep lawns green, to grow crops, and to provide habitat for other aquatic insects and animals. District Mosquito Control Specialists actively work with property owners and municipalities to reduce the amount of water needed for irrigation, to observe or consider best management practices when irrigation is needed, to actively participate in the design of new developments, and the overall minimization of standing water on a property.

Public Education and Outreach

The District’s mission is to protect residents from mosquitoes and other vectors that transmit disease. Public education and outreach is an important part in the success of combating diseases such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease. The District’s education program consists of public appearances at local city and county fairs, participation in the state Mosquito and Vector Awareness week, utilizing public service announcements through T.V., radio, internet, and local newspapers, and presentations to schools and local civic groups. In addition to the above activities, the District’s public education is responsible for mosquito control notifications, website changes and updates, press releases and media events, source reduction through education, and consulting with developers and designers.

District staff continually interact with the public and take advantage of every interaction to educate the county’s residents so that their actions prevent the development of mosquitoes through public education and outreach and by establishing best management practices on known mosquito-breeding sources.

Biological Control

Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control relies heavily on biological control. Over the years the District has tested many parasites and organisms to predate on or infect mosquito larvae. The District has tried using mosquito larvae eating fish, nematodes, planaria, and other mosquitoes such as Toxorhynchites sp. to try and control mosquito larvae populations. By far and away, the most efficient biological control method used by the District today is mosquito larvae eating fish known as Gambusia affins (Mosquitofish). Upon inspections with larvae present, District Mosquito Control Specialists evaluate the water source to determine if biological control is the most practical treatment possible and if deemed plausible the specialist will plant mosquitofish.
Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District continually evaluates new and old biological control methods and products. The District continually sends staff to advanced training and seminars to retrieve new technology and ideas from around the world to maintain that the District remains on the cutting edge of science.

Chemical Control

Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District's primary goal is to protect public health and welfare by managing mosquito populations so they do not present a significant risk to our community and residents. In the event that mosquito populations pose a significant public nuisance or when emergency control measures are needed to rapidly disrupt or terminate the transmission of disease to humans, the District will respond by continuing to implement its integrated pest management program. The District's chemical control program consists of larvicides and adulticides.

While the mosquito larvae is confined to the water, it can be eliminated before it is able to emerge. If a target pest can be treated before it becomes mobile, the area requiring treatment will be much smaller. District Mosquito Control Specialist identify sources of water that are producing mosquito larvae and assess if the source can be eliminated, re-designed or re-managed to prevent future breeding, and evaluate if biological control measures will be effective. If these options are not practical for the source then the specialist will conduct chemical control (larvicide) to eliminate the targeted mosquito larvae. Chemical options include some materials that are targeted to affect only a few insect species, leaving predatory and other insect and non-insect aquatic species unharmed. All products are registered with the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are applied by trained and state-certified specialists.

As part of the integrated vector management program, the District may administer Ultra Low Volume (ULV) treatments by using backpack foggers, hand sprayers, all terrain vehicle mounted foggers, truck-mounted foggers or aircraft, in and around areas where virus activity has been detected. Each fogging unit's output is calibrated to ensure the correct amount of product is applied for each treatment area. All products are registered with the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are applied by trained and state-certified technicians. Adulticides are chemicals that quickly reduce adult mosquito populations. Larvicides target immature mosquitoes.

The District will make every attempt to notify individuals who sign-up for the District's email notification list. However, the District may not be able to notify the public if immediate applications are needed to protect public health and welfare from diseases such as West Nile virus, western equine encephalomyelitis, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria and future newly introduced viruses. The District may also cancel a scheduled operation due to unfavorable weather conditions and/or other reasons.

Product labels and material safety data sheets can be acquired for the chemicals used by the District at the following links:


Pesticides That May Be Used For Mosquito Control In Butte County


  • Abate 4E
  • Abate 5% Pellets
  • Agnique
  • Altosid SBG II
  • Altosid XR Briquettes
  • Altosid XR-G
  • Aquabac 200 G
  • Aquabac 400 G
  • Bactimos Briquettes
  • Cocobear
  • Fourstar Briquettes
  • Golden Bear Oil
  • MetaLarv XRP
  • MetaLarv S-PT
  • Natular DT
  • Natular G-30
  • Natular XRT
  • Vectobac 12AS
  • Vectobac G
  • Vectobac GR
  • Vectobac GS
  • Vectobac WDG
  • Vectolex WDG
  • Vectomax FG
  • Vectomax WSP
  • VectoPrime FG


  • Anvil 10+10
  • Duet
  • Kontrol 4+4
  • Merus 3.0
  • Perm X UL 4-4
  • Pyrethrin 12%
  • Pyronyl Oil
  • Trumpet EC
  • Zenivex E-20

Barrier Sprays

  • Suspend SC
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