The primary mission of the Operations Department is
the control of mosquitoes, Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA),
and eye gnats. Additionally, residents are provided
with assistance on roof rats and flies through inspections
and information on habitat reduction and exclusion from dwellings. Please see our online brochures and informational materials for further detail on each program.
Mosquitoes: The mosquito control program conducts surveillance
and applies environmentally friendly control products to larval
breeding sites. In some cases, adulticides are applied locally from
ground or air units when virus surveillance indicates an impending
or present outbreak of mosquito-borne virus.
Two mosquito species in the Valley are capable of transmitting West Nile and Saint Louis encephalitis virus to humans. Currently, the mosquito species capable of transmitting the Zika virus have not been detected in the Coachella Valley. Learn more.
Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA): The Coachella Valley is an arid desert that is not
naturally suitable for RIFA survival, however multiple daily irrigation
of golf courses, lawns, flower beds and other horticultural
landscapes, provide moist and relatively cool conditions
conducive to RIFA survival. The RIFA program was established
to reduce the potential for injury and economic impact to the residents
and visitors of the Valley. Property inspections and control product
treatments are conducted at prescribed intervals.
Eye Gnats: The eye gnat program utilizes thousands of baited bottle traps to “Trap Out”
and reduces the abundance of eye gnats to tolerable nuisance
levels. These traps are located at golf courses, parks, and agricultural areas. Eye gnats are very small (1.5-2.5 mm long) flies,
primarily a nuisance pest that does not bite.
They have been linked with the spread of “pinkeye” (conjunctivitis).
Flies: Fly populations benefit from both urban development and
agricultural activities in the Coachella Valley. The District’s goal is
to suppress valley fly populations to tolerable levels and reduce the risk of
fly transmitted diseases. To accomplish this objective, the fly program includes
surveillance, public education, and suppression methods. Watch our video on how to build a fly and eye gnat trap or read the instruction sheet.
Honey Bees: Honey Bees defend their nests and therefore can be more aggressive if their nest or the areas around their nest are disturbed. Hives or swarms found on residential property are the responsibility of the homeowner. If a bee hive is found in or on a private structure, we encourage residents to contact a licensed bee keeper or private pest control company licensed for bee removal. Private pest control operators licensed by the State can be found at www.pcoc.org or 916-372-4363.
The District is not associated with nor can recommend one company/service over another. Residents are urged to thoroughly research any business and request several quotes before agreeing to service.
Once the hive is removed District staff can offer guidance on how to “bee proof” the property to reduce the likelihood that bees will reestablish a colony there.
The District may carry out bee removal in cases where hives or swarms are located in a non-structural and accessible location, such as trees and bushes, in a public place where the bees pose an imminent threat to the public. Please read our Living with Honey Bees brochure for more information.
The Biocontrol and Efficacy Assessment Department is currently
working with three natural organisms to control mosquito larvae.
These organisms are predators or parasites, which prey or live
upon the target insect, resulting in a desired reduction of their
population levels. The most successful biological tool against
immature mosquitoes in California is the mosquitofish, Gambusia
affinis. The other two organisms that the department is working
with are tadpole shrimp and nematodes.
Vector & Vector-Borne Disease
The Vector and Vector-Borne Disease Surveillance department staff
performs vector and nuisance population monitoring, species
identification, and disease surveillance using a variety of
field and laboratory techniques. Read more.