The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) is a public health agency that is enabled and empowered as a result of legislation incorporated in the California State Health and Safety Code to provide ongoing mosquito and vector control for its residents. The District was formed in 1952 as the Southeast Mosquito Abatement District through a citizen petition aimed at controlling mosquitoes emanating from the Los Angeles River and to protect residents from vector-borne disease like West Nile virus, specifically at that time St. Louis encephalitis.
The District has evolved over time and now provides mosquito, midge, and black fly control services to nearly six million residents in 35 cities and unincorporated portions of Los Angeles County, totaling an area of 1330 square miles.
GLACVCD’s services are funded by ad valorem property and special assessment taxes on each parcel within the District. The assessment is based on land use and parcel size. In fiscal year 2019-2020, the minimum assessment rate is $14.67 per single family home. Parcels within the black fly control assessment zone are charged an additional $0.33 for that service.
The 35-member cities include: Artesia, Bell, Bellflower, Bell Gardens, Burbank, Carson, Cerritos, Commerce, Cudahy, Diamond Bar, Downey, Gardena, Glendale, Hawaiian Gardens, Huntington Park, La Cañada Flintridge, La Habra Heights, Lakewood, La Mirada, Long Beach, Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, Lynwood, Maywood, Montebello, Norwalk, Paramount, Pico Rivera, San Fernando, San Marino, Santa Clarita, Santa Fe Springs, Signal Hill, South El Monte, South Gate, Vernon and Whittier.
What is Vector Control?
A “vector” is defined in the California Health and Safety code Section 2002 as “any animal capable of transmitting the causative agent of human disease or capable of producing human discomfort or injury including, but not limited to mosquitoes, flies, mites, ticks, other arthropods, and rodents and other vertebrates.”
The District follows a comprehensive integrated vector management strategy that includes:
- Surveillance – Vector populations are surveyed with a variety of sampling tools and laboratory techniques to determine whether vector-borne diseases are prevalent. The abundance of vectors like mosquitoes indicates the level of public health risk. Mosquitoes are tested routinely for evidence that West Nile virus (WNV), St Louis encephalitis (SLE), western equine encephalomyelitis (WEE) viruses are circulating. The risk for emerging diseases caused by chikungunya, dengue, and Zika viruses is also evaluated.
- Prevention and Control – Areas where vectors may rest, develop, or reproduce are identified and treated. The broad control strategies are:
- Source Reduction –standing water or other harborage that may support mosquitoes and other vectors is reduced or eliminated.
- Environmental Control –the environment is altered to make it less conducive to develop or harbor mosquitoes and other vectors.
- Biological and Chemical Control – natural predators such as mosquito fish, or biorational pesticides are used to eliminate or manage vector populations.
- Public Education and Outreach – information for residents and local agencies is provided at no additional cost through print literature, press releases, community events, classroom programs, social media posts, and local events.