Community Spray Programs (E2837)


September 22, 2016 - Author: Becky Hines

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Questions to Consider Before Beginning a Community Spray Program

Insects and diseases have the potential to affect many people across a large area. If a pest or outbreak is present in your area, a local government, community group or neighborhood association may decide to sponsor a communitywide spray program. Below are some questions that should be addressed before a final decision is made.

1. Is the pest or problem present in your immediate area? If not, then a community spray program may not be needed.

2. If pests are present, what is the extent of the problem? Pest numbers may be too low to justify the cost of a community spray program. A community spray program may not be necessary if the problem is in a localized area; individual treatment may be sufficient.

3. What are other management options for this pest? Can the pest be controlled in the community without using pesticides? Removing or modifying pest habitats and food, or changing human behavior may be enough to reduce pest numbers.

4. If a community spray program is implemented, how will its effectiveness be monitored?

5. What are the legal requirements for a community spray program?

Legal Requirements of a Community Spray Program

When a community spray program occurs, a number of legal requirements come into play. Some of these requirements directly affect citizens in the treated area. Michigan law requires the following:

Contact - The community spray program must designate a contact person who has knowledge of the program and is responsible for supplying the community with up-to-date program information-for example, a change in the spray date.

Notification - Prior to any pesticide application, the community must be notified. This can be done by any of three ways:

1. Personal contact (going door to door, etc.).

2. Advertisement in at least one newspaper that is circulated in the application area.

3. Written notification-for example, a postcard in the mail.

When written notification is chosen as the method of contact, the notice must include:

Who? Name, address and phone number of pesticide applicator (individual or company).

What? Brand name and active ingredient of pesticide(s) used.

How? Method of pesticide application (for example, by truck or by airplane).

When? Scheduled date(s) of application.

Questions? Name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

When multiple-use areas (parks, beaches, playgrounds and public campgrounds) are treated as part of a community spray program, the area must be posted. The posting must be done at the primary points of entry, such as the main driveway or parking lot, immediately after application. The signs must remain for at least 24 hours.

While the size and the type of sign are not specified under law, it must contain the following information about the pesticide application:

• Name, address and phone number of applicator (individual or company).

• Brand name and active ingredient of pesticide(s) used.

• Date of application.

• Restrictions on reentering the treated area.

Community Spray Programs for Mosquitoes

A few special requirements apply to mosquito community spray programs.

„ In addition to one of the three methods for prior notification already listed, a comprehensive community outreach program may be used to satisfy the prior notification requirement. For example, some counties in Michigan have an established mosquito control board that is responsible for public outreach and education.

„ The mosquito community spray program must have a way to notify those community members who request special notification prior to any pesticide application.

„ The mosquito control program must also have a method to exclude private property from participating.

The community mosquito control program must also provide a contact person who can respond to public questions about the pesticide application.

Please be advised that notification requirements shall be waived in the event of a public health emergency

Michigan Mosquito Management Association

American Mosquito Control Association

Michigan West Nile Virus Hotline 1-888-668-0869

Where do I get more information?

Michigan Department of Agriculture 1-800-292-3939

Michigan Department of Community Health

Michigan State University, Pesticide Safety and Education Program

Community IPM Series, Pesticide Safety and Education Program, Michigan State University Home&Garden/index.html

Center for Disease Control


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