Municipal mosquito control programs can do a good job controlling the mosquitoes in urban areas. This is in part because they have a larger population of people to share the costs of additional funding to provide to the program. Mosquito control is expensive. Unfortunately, to achieve the same results in the rural areas, the cost per household would be too expensive for most. The mill levy for Cass County Vector Control is at a State mandated maximum of 1 mill (or a property's taxable valuation multiplied by 0.001). That means that for every $100,000 dollars of True and Full Value each property is assessed; $4.50 of property tax is dedicated to mosquito control annually.
The reality in Cass County is that there are too many potential breeding sites and far too much land for any type of program to fully cover all standing water or places adult mosquitoes exist. The current minimum cost to treat an acre of standing water in a ditch, pasture, or field is about $15 for pesticides alone. For every $1000 of revenue Vector Control generates from property taxes considering labor, materials, pesticide and overhead; there are resources to treat under 25 acres of standing water. That is approximately 20 miles of 10 foot wide ditch- for a single treatment. There are 7035 miles of ditches in the county between the Federal, State, County and Township roads. There are over 5000 ditch miles along side township roads alone.
A single treatment for larval mosquitoes generally exhausts the proportionate budget for every rural township's entire year and only controls mosquitoes in the water for approximately five to seven days. This amount of proportionately treatable acres pales in comparison to the number of breeding sites possible. As an example, in a "highly mapped" township like Barnes Township there are over 1400 acres of mapped breeding sites. For a township that is less documented such as Berlin, there are over 400 acres of that have been documented as breeding sites. Adding it all up, even relatively rural townships like Stanley Township have almost 1000 acres of potential breeding sites not including the three rivers, countless drains and streams, and other features that flood during the early summer rains and create hundreds of additional acres of mosquito breeding sites.
If you were to look purely at adult control efforts or "spraying" as the sole source of control; considering labor, materials, overhead, and pesticides - every $1000 in taxes revenue allows for only about 500-1000 acres of area to be sprayed just one time. Every square mile contains 640 acres. To spray all of Cass County's approximate 1760 square miles via a truck would cost over $500,000 in material alone for one countywide application and would only eliminate mosquitoes for a day or two. Spraying via aircraft would be several million dollars per application and would only eliminate mosquitoes for a day or two. To spray all of Cass County's 36,000 properties that have residential structures would take weeks to complete each "round" and ultimately would still be a failure for a vast majority of households as it would be weeks between applications.
To generate just $1,000 in funds to kill mosquitoes there needs to be tax revenue from about two hundred $100,000 homes or a about 20 million dollars of market value. More than one application of any type of pesticide will be needed to maintain mosquitoes for more than just a day or two. These factor make comprehensive control impossible for all but the most populated areas in Cass County.
To view Vector Control's Funding Please Click HERE.
However, by taking a few corrective actions, you will be able to reclaim your back yard. Follow the link to find detailed instructions on how you can control mosquitoes in your yard and immediately improve conditions click: Mosquito Spraying