California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Mosquito Best Management Practices

Public attitudes about wetlands have greatly changed in the last few decades. Historically, wetlands were regarded as impediments to economic progress and "reclaimed" for agricultural production and other commercial uses. Today, wetlands are valued for their habitat for fish and wildlife, recreational opportunities, and the benefits they provide in terms of flood control, water filtration, and ground water recharge. However, as California becomes more urbanized and development encroaches into historically rural areas, conflicts can arise from public health concerns about mosquitoes produced in wetlands.

To address mosquito concerns as they relate to wetlands, the CWHP, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Central Valley Joint Venture developed a technical guide to provide information on habitat management strategies to reduce mosquito production in managed wetlands, and to facilitate greater cooperation among wetland habitat mangers and Mosquito and Vector Control Districts.

The term, "Best Management Practices" (BMPs) is used to describe habitat management strategies that are an effective and practical means for reducing mosquito populations, production rates, or the timing of hatch. These BMPs focus on exploiting the ecological relationships among mosquitoes, their predators, and the wetland habitats they use for breeding. In many cases, these practices are also beneficial to the general management of wetlands and the wildlife they support. Mosquito BMPs are currently being used at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area and Grizzly Island Wildlife Area to successfully reduce mosquitoes. For more information or a copy of the technical guide contact Heidi West at (916) 445-3486 or John Thomson at (916) 445-3561 or download the guide in PDF format.