Providing mosquito control service continuity during COVID-19
Mosquito control programs from coast-to-coast have shared how they are continuing work as an essential public health service, while protecting the health and safety of their staff members. Here's a summary of what we've learned:
Mosquito Control Operations During COVID-19
Four trends for mitigating COVID-19 impacts on mosquito control operations are emerging as mosquito control programs adjust their operational protocols:
- Employees are now home-based. Technicians are assigned one truck to keep at home, get dispatch orders over the phone or email, drive to the office only to pick-up product or for equipment service, and payroll hours are logged via web-based systems.
- One person per truck is the new standard. No morning huddles or team meetings unless they’re handled digitally.
- Response to nuisance calls are being temporarily suspended.
- Backpack sprayers with EPA-approved disinfectants are being used to provide disinfection services in public spaces.
Applications to Control Mosquitoes During COVID-19
Although most mosquito control programs have low adult mosquito populations at this time, a couple more weeks of spring showers and warming temperatures will increase the demand for control applications. Customers are managing applications by:
- Focusing on pre-season suppression with extended control larvicides.
- Considering drones for wide area control or reduced staff exposure.
- Weighing the benefits of aerial applications for maximum efficiency.
- Protecting PPE supply by opting for products with less PPE requirements.
Staffing Mosquito Control Programs During COVID-19
Here are a few ways mosquito control programs are managing scheduling for their workforce of essential public health workers during COVID-19.
- Split shifts or staggered start times provide more flexibility and promote social distancing.
- Administrative staff are rotating days in the office to manage deliveries and phone lines.
- Proceeding cautiously with ramping up seasonal staff.