From The Ground Up
Zoological Theme Park Developing Protocols
for Worldwide Application
Florida, the task was to implement and evaluate the effectiveness
of six safer alternative pesticides to control mosquitoes on the
Parrot Jungle Island park in Miami. The effort included using four
biochemical products. The big-picture goal is to apply the findings
of the project to other park facilities like Parrot Jungle Island
(PJI) that must control mosquito populations.
and fogging have historically been the main method of control. Spraying
raises issues though, the first being phytotoxicity. In layman’s
terms, spraying pesticides can cause significant burning on new
plant growth. Second, it can cause the loss of beneficial or non-target
insects. “Insect predators are critical components in integrated
pest management (IPM) and plant health care programs,” said
project manager, Jeff Shimonski, the Director of Horticulture for
is mosquito larvae control. The initial premise was to control the
larvae that were breeding in the natural water bodies (phytotelmata)
found in the thousands of bromeliads that were grown as ornamental
plants throughout the 18 acre site of Parrot Jungle Island in Miami,
Florida. The larvae were sampled on a weekly basis, identified as
to the species, and then control was attempted with the use of six
biochemicals. The testing of these biochemicals would show that
substantial control could be achieved with chemicals that were safe
to use on the bromeliads, that they were not phytotoxic, and they
would be safe to broadcast into the environment without harming
other animals and insects.
soon became apparent that the storm drains, not the bromeliads,
were the main source of mosquitoes that bred in the park. An identical
mosquito larvae sampling program for the 20 storm drains within
the park boundaries was developed alongside the bromeliad sampling
project demonstrated that substantial control of adult mosquitoes
could be achieved in an 18 acre park through safe, environmentally
sound methods,” states Shimonski. The same results were achieved
with both sampling programs, that is, three of the biochemicals
either individually or mixed with another eradicated the larvae
from both the bromeliads and the storm drains.
The best measurement
of the success of this project is that aerial adulticiding was stopped
at the end of August 2005 after years of spraying the park at least
once a day, nearly every day of the year, regardless of the season
or the amount of local rainfall.
A small number
of the storm drains had been initially treated for larvae control
and then for months afterwards, mosquito larvae were either never
collected from the drains again or where too few in number to bother.
Occasionally tadpoles or damselfly larvae would be spotted inside
the drains while sampling but never in large enough quantities that
would control the mosquito larvae.
and its documentation will continue at the park. A similar mosquito
larvae control project at a different and larger (60 acres) facility
further inland has begun in the hope of working with different species
of mosquitoes in different situations.
also being created that will be placed permanently in the park to
explain how this mosquito larvae control program compliments the
Integrated Pest Management program. This information will then be
accessible to over 400,000 park visitors a year with over 100,000
of them being school children.
For more information
please see: http://tropicaldesigns.com/ipm.htm