History

Historical photo

Cape Cod Mosquito Control Project (CCMCP)

The Cape Cod Mosquito Control Project was organized in 1928, making it the first organized mosquito control project in the State of Massachusetts. At that time, it was obvious that the prevalence of mosquitoes on Cape Cod could prevent the area from becoming one of the leading recreational areas in the East. The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce organized a county – wide fund raising drive which was the first county – wide attempt to organize a mosquito control. The objective of the Project was and is to manage the mosquito populations below a nuisance level.

Barnstable County contains 50 square miles of salt marsh. There are an additional 5 square miles of fresh water swamps and 170 great ponds ranging from 10 to 650 acres. These statistics alone show what a tremendous undertaking it is to control the mosquito breeding in Barnstable County.

The method of choice for controlling mosquitoes in the 1930’s was basic water management. During the 1930’s the mosquito control project put in approximately 1500 miles of drainage systems for salt water mosquito control. Inland water areas were also regulated for mosquito control. This regulation was done by the installation of pipe lined, sluice ways, dams, dikes, etc.

Although many different chemical pesticides were being developed during and after World War II, the Cape Cod Mosquito Control Project continued to rely upon water management as the principle method for controlling mosquitoes. Expanding population sixe made it important to find a better and faster method for maintaining our ditch system. In 1958, the first heavy duty mechanical trenching machines was employed by the Project. These machines made maintaining the existing ditches an easier job. The Project continues to rely upon water management (e.g. selective ditch maintenance) as its primary means of controlling mosquitoes.

An entomological survey of the entire county was completed during the 1930’s. The following species of mosquitoes were found on Cape Cod:

  • Aedes sollicitans
  • Aedes cinereus
  • Aedes stimulans
  • Aedes aurifer
  • Aedes cantator
  • Aedes excrusians
  • Aedes abserratus
  • Aedes trisereatus
  • Aedes canadensis
  • Anopheles quadrinaculatus
  • Mansonia perturbans
  • Culex pipens
  • Culex apicalis
  • Culex salinarius
  • Uranotaenia sappharina
  • Culiseta morstans
  • Culiseta melanura
  • Psoraphora ciliala

There are a total of almost 35,200 acres of potential mosquito breeding habitat from which these species of mosquitoes come. These wetlands and the mosquitoes it produces has kept the Cape Cod Mosquito Control very busy from its inception.

Related


Greenhead Fly Control District (CCGCD)

The Cape Cod Greenhead Fly Control District was formally established in 1945.  The purpose of this project was and is to reduce the nuisance level of greenhead flies by decreasing the number of biting adult flies.  Funding for the CCGCD comes from all of the towns that are part of Cape Cod.