Control Methods

For mosquito abatement, Tangipahoa Mosquito Abatement District #1 (TMAD) uses an IPM approach. 

IPM stands for Integrated Pest Management, which simply means that multiple control measures are used instead of a single method. TMAD utilizes Education, Source Reduction, Biological Controls, Larviciding and Adulticiding.

Though some of these methods are limited to Mosquito Control Districts, all of us can take steps to reduce the amount of mosquito breeding sites where we live. Keep in mind that one female can lay 250 eggs in one batch and within one week those can turn into 250 adult mosquitoes in your backyard. Proper source reduction benefits us all.

We will be happy to provide labels and safety data sheets of current products in use upon request. Please call 985-543-0454 or email to request this information.

What are the boundaries of Tangipahoa Mosquito Abatement District #1?

District #1 consists mainly of the southern end of Tangipahoa Parish. It includes everything from the Livingston Parish line south of Highway 442 to Highway 40 to the St. Tammany Parish line. It does not include the city limits of Tickfaw. If you are unsure as to whether you are in the District, just give us a call and we will be happy to find out for you.

This map should be useful in determining whether you live within the District boundaries. View on Google Maps.

TMAD District Map

Why don't you do more where I live?

We prioritize our limited resources to reach the areas with the greatest mosquito population density or disease activity first. If you want specific information about what’s being done around your property, call the Main Office at 985-543-0454.

What is Tangipahoa Mosquito Abatement doing to survey for possible diseases in the area?

The main method TMAD uses to look for the presence of possible diseases in our district is mosquito pooling. This is the process of collecting adult mosquitoes to be identified, separated and tested. TMAD uses CDC and gravid traps to attract and collect adult female mosquitoes. The mosquitoes from each trap are separated by species and samples are then sent to a lab for testing. Currently, the lab tests for West Nile virus (WNV), Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE).

How can the spray be effective when the truck is traveling so fast while spraying down my street?

Once a driver reaches his/her spray zone, the spray motor on the back of the truck stays running the entire time he is traveling. So some of the time the driver could just be moving from one street to the other and not actually spraying. However, when the driver is spraying the top lights should be engaged and a fine mist can seen coming from the sprayer.

Once spraying begins, our targeted spray speed is 15mph, although drivers can effectively spray between 5-20 mph. This range is possible because the trucks are equipped with computerized variable flow metering systems. These systems increase or decrease flow rates based on the speed of travel, assuring the proper amount of spray is being dispensed. These new systems have greatly increased the efficiency of the operation, assuring proper application, as well as saving time and money.

How frequently is my area sprayed for mosquitoes?

The District has been subdivided into 19 distinct areas that we call “zones”. During the active mosquito season, about 5 of these zones will be sprayed on a typical night. Weather permitting, this allows for the entire district to be sprayed weekly. This can allow for a limited number of zones with especially high numbers of mosquitoes (or mosquito- borne virus activity) to be sprayed twice within a week.

The following map shows which zones have been scheduled to be sprayed that evening:

The spray truck was spraying in my area last night, why did he miss my street?

There are a number of possibilities here:

  • Your street is in a zone which was not scheduled to be sprayed, but near enough to a zone which was scheduled for spraying
  • You may have heard one of our trucks with the spray engine running (but not actually spraying) driving to their assigned spray area.
  • The driver may have determined that your street could not have been safely sprayed. Possible reasons that could have caused this decision are:
    • too many people outdoors (both on the street and in their yards)
    • parked vehicles or other obstacles along the street or blocking the turnaround which would interfere with the ability of our driver to safely navigate the area
    Note: If the driver does determine that they could not safely spray an area, they are required to make a notation on their spray sheet as to the location and why they could not spray.
  • The driver may have inadvertently missed your street when it should have been sprayed. This does happen from time to time, and we do want to know when it happens so that it can be brought to the driver's attention.

Are pesticides used in mosquito control safe?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has regulated mosquito control through enforcement of standards instituted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) since its inception. This legislation mandated documentation of extensive testing for public health insecticides according to EPA guidelines prior to their registration and use. These data requirements are among the most stringent in the federal government and are met through research by established scientists in federal, state and private institutions. This process costs a registrant several million dollars per product, but ensures that the public health insecticides available for mosquito control do not represent health or environmental risks when used as directed. Indeed, the five or six adulticides currently available are the selected survivors of literally hundreds of products developed for these uses over the years. The dosages at which these products are legally dispensed are at least 100-fold less than the point at which public health and environmental safety merit consideration. In point of fact, literature posted on the websites of the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators and National Pesticide Information Center emphasizes that proper use of mosquitocides by established mosquito control agencies does not put the general public or the environment at unreasonable risk from runoff, leaching or drift when used according to label specifications. (For the federal government's position on risks associated with mosquito control insecticides, visit

The safety profiles of public health insecticides are undergoing increasing scrutiny because of concerns with how the specialized application technology and product selection protect the exposed public and environment. In fact, well over 200 peer-reviewed scientific studies in various national and international refereed journals since 1980 have documented the safety and efficacy of these public health insecticides at label rates in addition to their application techniques.

How do mosquito districts avoid spraying chemically-sensitive persons?

Organized mosquito control agencies often go to extraordinary lengths to accommodate individuals who, for varying reasons, prefer their property not be sprayed with approved public health insecticides. When surveys indicate the need for adult sprays, they are approved, planned and conducted with special regard to the concerns of chemically sensitive persons. Personal notification of chemically-sensitive individuals of spray times in addition to using Global Positioning Systems (GPS)/Global Information Systems (GIS) technology to reduce the likelihood of drift over unauthorized areas are but a few of the means utilized to ensure mosquito control serves the entire public spectrum. Should you desire that your property not be sprayed, please notify your local district.

Do mosquito sprays affect animals other than mosquitoes?

The extremely small droplet aerosols used in adult mosquito control are designed to target adult mosquitoes that are in flight at the time of the application. These small droplets degrade rapidly, and leave little to no residue on the impacted area at ground level. Very low application rates for these products, generally less than 4 grams of active ingredient per acre, are instrumental in minimizing adverse impacts as well.

Will that stuff you're using hurt me (or my kid, dog, cat, ducks, fish, trees, lawn, garden, etc)?

In general, the answer is no. Our two larvicides, Bti and methoprene, pose no danger to people, pets, or wildlife, even if they drink the water. Of course, for extra safety, children and animals should be kept clear while we are making a treatment. People may be concerned that because we are killing mosquito larvae and adults, we might be depriving wildlife such as ducks and bats of their food. Animals such as ducks and bats do not rely on a single source of food, and will frequently switch diets during the year as different foods become plentiful.

As for adult mosquito spraying, the pyrethroids used by TMAD pose no measurable health risk to humans and animals, but are toxic to fish and bees. Therefore, we do not spray near water or blooming crops. Permethrin is only applied to dense vegetation where mosquitoes rest during the day, and resmethrin is applied as a fog during the evening when mosquitoes are active but bees are not. All of our materials are registered for use in Louisiana and are among the safest available. As professional applicators, we take pride in only making a treatment when necessary, following label directions, and minimizing the potential impacts on non-target species. We live in this area and enjoy the outdoors too, so we take a personal as well as professional interest in protecting the environment.

You're doing a great job, the mosquitoes aren't bad at all. Why is that? (Or, The mosquitoes are terrible! What are you going to do about it?)

Warm temperatures and heavy rain during a short time period, generally means more mosquitoes. If rainfall is spread over a wide area, it makes it more difficult for all areas to be reached with our larval control before the larvae become adult mosquitoes. Sometimes closely spaced rains will produce more than one brood (or hatch) of mosquitoes in the water at the same time. Consequently, some sites will have to be treated twice, and we may not have enough time and resources to do this. Conversely, normal rainfall or a dry period generally means fewer mosquitoes, and populations are easier to control.

Where can I buy those control materials?

Our control materials and formulations are designed for use by professional applicators and are quite expensive. Bti is available in various forms at home and garden or farm supply stores.

I don't like what you're doing. Can I say no?

Yes, you can say no. We can also provide a variety of special responses for citizens. For example, we may be able to establish a buffer around a residence where someone has an allergy to aerosols, or we can notify them before we use the aircraft near their property. If you have questions or concerns, call the Main Office at 985-543-0454.

Do you work for the parish or the state?

Neither. We are a special taxing district funded by property taxes collected entirely within our service area. Our governing body is a Board of Commissioners. See for the meeting schedule.

Can you do anything about horseflies, deer flies, or ticks?

No, our control materials do not affect horse or deer flies, and there is currently no wide-scale economical and environmentally sound way to control ticks. There are repellants for humans that may be effective on horse and deer flies, and your veterinarian or farm supply store can recommend repellants for animals. Repellants, wearing light-colored clothing, and avoiding their habitat are the best way for people to avoid ticks.

What do you do during the winter?

Our larval surveillance and control season approximately starts in March and runs until roughly mid November (depending on weather). The District hires two seasonal workers in addition to our seasonal night drivers. These employees work from March until October/November. There are 10 regular full-time employees who spend the “off season” training, updating and digitizing section maps, compiling and analyzing data, maintaining equipment, conducting educational programs for area students, planning for the next season, and exploring ways to improve the program.

Do you have a set schedule for spraying mosquitoes?

Spraying for adult mosquito outbreaks occurs on an as needed basis. This need is based on weather, mosquito populations, and virus activity. TMAD conducts several ongoing types of surveillance to quantify mosquito populations.

How many phone calls do you need to spray my area?

The number of phone calls does not determine when or where treatment for adult mosquitoes will be done. Spraying for adult mosquito outbreaks occur only on an as needed basis. TMAD conducts several on-going types of surveillance to quantify mosquito populations. In general, staff are aware of mosquito population increases. Occasionally, phone calls are important because they alert the District of potential problem areas that surveillance has not predicted. It could also indicate an individual is experiencing a problem specifically in their property or neighborhood. In these situations, an inspector will be contacted to check for mosquitoes.

Can mosquito control spray for a special event?

It is against State regulations to spray for mosquitoes without scientific data to show treatment for adult mosquitoes is justified. If TMAD is notified of the location, date, and time the event is to be held, at least 3 working days in advance of the event, various methods of surveillance can be done in that area to determine if treatment can be justified. Please call 985-543-0454 to request treatment for a special event.

Are aerial mosquito control treatments harmful to people or pets?

After the USEPA determines an insecticide can be registered for use in the United States, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry (LDAF) determines which pesticides can be registered and applied in the State of Louisiana. The primary aerial adulticide material used by Tangipahoa Mosquito Abatement is Naled.For more information about Naled and other pesticides, visit:

Who oversees pesticide applications?

Pesticide applications within the state of Louisiana must comply with Louisiana Pesticide Law (RS 3:201-3389) and are regulated by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

Shining A Light On LAMP Testing

Shining A Light On LAMP Testing
  • Authored by Colby Colona
    June 15, 2021

Earlier blog entries have mentioned “LAMP” testing, but what exactly is that? So let’s shine a light on the subject! (You see what I did there?)

A major component of our operations is collecting mosquitoes (to read more about surveillance, click HERE). I have previously covered what happens to most collected mosquitoes (for a review, click HERE). Still, at TMAD, we like to go big or go home, which is why in 2018, our board of directors voted to invest in implementing our own in-house West Nile Virus testing.

We were the first mosquito control district in the state to incorporate this specific technology into our routine operations, and we are especially proud of this!

That’s nice and all, but what is it?

LAMP stands for “loop-mediated isothermal amplification.” It’s a mouthful, but the basic idea is simple: isolate and amplify genetic material to show the presence of the West Nile virus. By having this equipment and technology in our own lab, we eliminate turnaround time and can even test mosquito samples on the same day as collection. This is a big deal for public health! During peak West Nile virus season, we can essentially set out a trap, collect extra mosquitoes from that trap, and test them as soon as they are brought back to the lab. Then, instead of waiting a week or two weeks for results from the state lab, we can know the same day if we need to send out our trucks or our plane to a specific area. This allows us to be more “proactive” rather than “reactive.” 








The Process

LAMP testing is all about the genetic material within the cells or ribonucleic acids (RNA). Ribonucleic acids are present in living cells, and the general purpose is to carry instructions about making proteins to your cell’s DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Once mosquitoes are collected from a trap, this RNA must be extracted. This means that the rest of the cell needs to be essentially dissolved so that the RNA is easily isolated.

This is done by pulverizing the mosquitoes (making a mosquito milkshake!), separating the solids from the liquids by centrifuging, taking out some of the “slush” (i.e., homogenate), and then washing away the “unnecessary” parts of the cell to get the RNA by itself. 

This is the most labor-intensive part of the test and usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how many samples are being extracted. Cells are stubborn little things!

After the extraction has taken place and the RNA is isolated, we must then amplify it to make it easily visible to the processing equipment. Finally, dyes and primers are added to enable the RNA to show up in the last step-the all-powerful Genie!

The Genie is the little machine that does all the final analysis and clearly reports positive and negative results. It usually takes about thirty minutes for this processing to complete.


How do you know the test was done correctly?

In every test run in our lab, we also run a positive and negative control. What does that mean? For every group of samples tested, we also run one sample that we know will be positive by adding specific reagents and one test with only water added instead of mosquito RNA to know it will be negative. If either shows anything other than the expected positive or negative result, we know that the test was possibly contaminated and will retest. This ensures that we are only working with the most accurate results better to serve the public health needs of our citizens. 

You should see four “peaks.” These represent a positive result for the presence of the West Nile virus. The dotted yellow line is a positive control, and though hard to see, a light green line flat on the X-axis represents negative control. This demonstrates that the test is not contaminated and the results are accurate.


How many samples can you run at once?

We can run up to 16 samples at once, including the positive and negative controls. We can do this twice a day if we need even more samples tested, for a total of 32 samples a day. We are exploring our options for increasing this number in the future.

Final thoughts

We strive to use science-based evidence to make our treatment decisions. LAMP testing is just one facet of the ongoing Integrated Mosquito Management strategy we use in our operations. Knowing where the West Nile virus is located quickly, we can better target our treatments and keep our citizens safer!

Have more questions or want to chat? Call our office, and we will be happy to help!