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Integrated Pest Management

A comprehensive approach to treating a pest problem through the use of multiple control methods.

Mosquitoes

Albuquerque and Bernalillo County residents can request mosquito control spraying by calling 311.

Residents who don't wish to have their property sprayed can register on the No-Spray List by calling 311.

  • Mosquito control is conducted as a combined City-County effort, following the principles of Integrated Pest Management.
  • Mosquitoes are controlled at all life stages through a variety of methods. The goal is effective and efficient control designed to prevent pesticide resistance and to minimize the amount of pesticide released in the environment.
  • Protecting public health and ensuring that outdoor activities can be enjoyed safely and comfortably is our underlying mission.

What you can do

  • Prevent mosquito breeding on your property
    • Store containers that could hold water upside down
    • Keep your property uncluttered, mosquitoes can breed in the smallest pools of water
    • Clean pet water dishes regularly by dumping the water, scrubbing, and replacing the water
    • Treat pools with chlorine
      • If not in use, keep empty or treat with mosquito dunks
    • Replace bird bath water regularly
  • Prevent mosquitoes from entering your home
    • Keep door and window screens in good condition
  • Protect yourself when outdoors
    • Use insect repellent containing DEET
    • Wear long sleeves and long pants especially at dusk and dawn
  • Report standing water and high adult populations to 311

City of Albuquerque services

            In conjunction with Bernalillo County the Urban Biology Division enforces the Insect and Rodent Control Ordinance. Along with habitat abatement, mosquitoes are targeted at each life stage.

Prevention

  • Vector control technicians identify areas known to hold water naturally or after a storm
  • These areas are pre-treated and then monitored throughout the mosquito season
    • Bacterial products based on Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis and Bacillus sphaericus introduce live bacteria into water sources that produce toxins that are highly species-specific, killing mosquito and fly larvae
  • If possible, they identify ways to prevent water accumulation
  • The Urban Biology Division maintains a stock pond for mosquitofish and introduces them into permanent sources of standing water (drainage ditches, retention ponds, etc.)
    • Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) are a guppy-like fish that eat mosquito larvae
    • These fish are also distributed free to the public between May and September

Monitoring

  • Known locations and those reported through 311 are monitored regularly for mosquito larvae and pupae; if present they are treated.
  • Surface films and mineral oils can be applied to standing water to change the surface tension of the water. This prevents mosquito larvae from reaching the surface to breathe, and they will die from suffocation. Since this method is a physical means of killing larvae, there is no possibility of resistance developing, and the products used are not harmful to the environment. Surface films are the primary chemical control method used in our control program.
  • Bacterial products based on Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis and Bacillus sphaericus introduce live bacteria into water sources that produce toxins that are highly species-specific, killing mosquito and fly larvae.
  • Insect growth regulators are used in difficult to access areas where standing water will be present for long periods. These products are brick-like and can be tossed into water sources. They prevent mosquito larvae from properly developing into mature stage adults.
  • In severe conditions, a temephos-based insecticide may be used to kill mosquito larvae. Although this product is safe for humans and other mammals, and does not accumulate in the environment, it is not compatible with mosquitofish and is rarely used.
  • Adult populations are also monitored throughout the season using CDC light traps and gravid traps. Trapping locations are concentrated near the Bosque and span Bernalillo County.
  • The Urban Biology Division provides mosquito spraying to the public as a free service. This service is offered from mid-May until the beginning of October, depending on weather. In most years, the pesticide used for adult mosquito control is based on a synthetic pyrethroid. Pyrethroids are engineered products based on naturally occurring pyrethrin, a natural botanical insect-killing agent derived from chrysanthemum flowers. Every few years, an organophosphate-based insecticide is rotated in as a resistance-prevention measure.
  • Though larval control is the focus of our program, some adult mosquitoes will always be present and this is the stage that can transmit disease to humans and animals.

Bed Bugs

In multi-unit housing, the first step is to always report the infestation to your landlord or property manager.

In a single unit home, contact a licensed pest control company as soon as possible and let them you know you suspect a bed bug infestation.

Resident responsibilities:

  • Disposal of Furniture
    • It is not necessary to throw furniture items away unless directed by a professional pest control operator. (most items can be effectively treated)
      • If there are miscellaneous items that you are willing to dispose of, it can make treatment easier.
    • If possible, items should be brought directly to a city transfer station
      • Items should be sealed up with plastic to prevent bugs escaping
      • Avoid moving furniture through unaffected rooms or common areas
  • Laundry
    • Wash your sheets, pillowcases, bed shirt and blankets in hot (140º) water and/or dryer first.
    • Wash all clothing and cloth articles that might be a hiding place for bed bugs. (Start with things stored near the bed and work your way until you've gotten rid of all the bed bugs.)
    • Seal all washed and dried clothing in plastic bags to prevent re-infestation until extermination is complete.
    • Too Delicate? If you can NOT get your water or dryer hot enough or if the article will be ruined at high temperatures, try using a dry cleaners or use a very cold or hot place suggested below.

 

Get rid of anything that bed bugs could hide behind or underneath that you don't need like old newspapers, cardboard boxes, pictures, posters, area rugs, old clothes, old purses and luggage, furniture etc. . .

Vacuum and/or scrub (DO NOT FORGET TO CLEAN OUT YOUR VACUUM CLEANER RIGHT AFTER YOU ARE DONE)

Can't throw it out but can move? Then temporarily remove them from your home. However, before you bring them back you will have to either carefully and thoroughly vacuum or scrub every surface to remove bed bugs and their eggs. (Also, you may want to wait a few weeks before bring these items back until you are sure you're gotten rid of them or you will have to clean them all over again.) If it can't be removed even temporarily then carefully and thoroughly vacuum or scrub every surface to remove bed bugs and their eggs.

Laundry

Make your bed an island

  • Move your bed away from the wall.
  • Make sure nothing from your bed touches the floor.
  • If possible purchase plastic covers for your mattress and box spring.

Elimination/Extermination Methods

Because of the difficulty in fully exterminating a bed bug infestation, it is recommended that you consult with a professional pest control company to ensure correct and effective treatment for bed bugs.  These professionals are trained to select appropriate pesticide products and apply them in a way that will effectively treat the infestation while minimizing your exposure to the pesticide.  A reputable company will work with you to create an integrated management plan that will eliminate the infestation and work to prevent re-infestation in the future.

Chemical Control: Pesticides

  • Pick a pesticide that is specifically for bed bugs
  • Try to pick the least toxic product
  • Follow ALL dilution and application instructions recommended by the manufacturer

Steam

  • Steam cleaning can be effective but care needs to be taken because mattresses can quickly absorb the heat and moisture and not harm the bugs. Therefore, it is important to monitor carefully to make sure it worked and you may want check for new bugs in a week or two.Also, remember to concentrate on the areas they hide such as the seams, under labels and handles and everywhere on the bed frame.

Extreme temperatures

  • Bed bugs are very sensitive to heat. So you may want to try putting things in tightly sealed plastic bags in a VERY cold place (freezer, outside or outdoor storage area when temperatures are below freezing)
  • Hot place (dryer, closed up vehicle that sitting in the hot sun) for several days to kill any adult bugs and their eggs.

Remember: Because they are sensitive to heat even in a hot car they will search for the coolest places, so it is important make sure you limit how much you put in a plastic bag. The cold or the heat must reach the middle or core of the articles being treated or it may not work.

Eliminate hiding places and access points

  • Seal Crevices
  • Repair peeling wallpaper
  • Tighten loose light switches
  • Close up gaps around pipes and wires especially those that go to adjoining apartments or homes.

Don’t Give-Up too soon!

It takes time to determine if what you've done works because bed bugs live a long time without food. Also it can be extremely difficult and tiresome to make sure you've gotten all their hiding places. If after two week you start seeing more bed bugs, you may need to re-evaluate your plan and start your plan again.

Cockroaches

In multi-unit housing, the first step is to always report the infestation to your landlord or property manager.

In a single unit home, contact a licensed pest control company as soon as possible and let them you know you suspect a cockroach infestation.

Traps

  • Using sticky boards placed around your home can show where the infestation is heaviest and identify entry points.
  • You can determine what species of cockroach you are dealing with which will affect your control methods.
  • They should be placed at the joint of the wall and floor near doors and windows, in corners, under sinks, behind stoves and refrigerators.
  • You can use traps after implementing control to see how effective it has been.

Sanitation

  • Cockroaches will thrive where food and water are abundant.
  • Make sure that no food or residue is ever left out
  • Keep sinks empty and drained
  • Clean counter-tops, floors, and appliances with bleach solution
  • Store dry foods in plastic bins
  • Make sure there are no leaks in the plumbing; if there are, report to management right away
  • Vacuum floors, cabinets, and cracks and crevices to clear any debris
  • Store trash bins away from the structure and empty indoor canisters regularly
  • Do not allow debris to accumulate near the building

Exclusion

  • Make sure screens and weather stripping are in good condition on doors and windows
  • Seal any holes leading to the outdoors
  • Seal cracks and crevices with caulking
  • Use drain covers with a small mesh/leave drains closed when not in use

Chemical Control: Pesticides

  • Insecticides are the most effective way to treat a cockroach infestation
  • Contact a licensed pest control operator to safely apply chemicals

German cockroach infestation can be extremely difficult to get rid of. One treatment by pest control may not eliminate the problem. It is likely that multiple visits will be required. However, in conjunction with the other measures, effective control can be achieved.