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Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Pacific Region


June 13, 2014
Coos County to apply larvicide at Bandon Marsh Refuge by air
June 13, 2014
Contact: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Megan Nagel, 503-231-6123, or Coos County Public Health: Rick Hallmark,, 541-751-2431

Coos County plans to use airplane to treat Bandon Marsh Refuge with mosquito larvicide

Bandon, Ore. – This weekend, part of the Ni-les'tun Unit of the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge will be treated with Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, or Bti, for the fourth time this season. The Bti is scheduled to be applied by an airplane. Neighbors should expect to see a very low-flying plane over the Ni-les'tun marsh this weekend. The aerial application of mosquito larvicide will not affect the nearby Coquille River or areas around the Ni-les'tun Unit.

The flight is scheduled for Saturday, June 14, weather permitting. Sunday, June 15, will be the fallback day if the flight needs to be rescheduled.

"Using a fixed wing aircraft, granular Bti will be applied from very low altitude reducing all drift. The application will take approximately three hours to complete," said Dan Markowski of Vector Disease Control International, the Coos County Public Health contractor that conducts the larvicide applications.

Some areas of the marsh will also be treated by hand with backpack spreaders.

A large portion of the marsh was flooded by the current high tide series and will need to be treated with the mosquito larvicide Bti. The mosquito larvae are only susceptible to Bti for a few days after they hatch, and must be treated during that time. Using the airplane to apply the mosquito larvicide is the most efficient way to treat such a large area, over 170 acres, of the marsh.

Bti is a naturally derived larvicide that kills mosquitoes in their aquatic immature life stages. Bti targets mosquito larvae and is not toxic to bees, moths, butterflies, fish, mammals, or birds.

All tidal marsh areas in the refuge where mosquito larvae exceed set threshold levels will be treated as necessary throughout the summer. Monitoring will be ongoing to determine when Bti treatment is necessary.

Funding provided by the Service was previously released to Coos County Public Health for monitoring and application of larvicide. The County hired a field technician to monitor for mosquitoes on the Refuge and nearby areas throughout the spring and summer. The County has also contracted with Vector Disease Control International to apply the larvicide Bti as needed.

Treatment of mosquitoes with larvicide is part of the Integrated Marsh Management Approach to control mosquitoes at the refuge through long-term habitat modification and mosquito control. Tidal channel construction to eliminate mosquito breeding habitat is scheduled to begin this July.

For updates on the Integrated Marsh Management Approach at Bandon Marsh Refuge:

Coos County Public Health:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

The mission of Coos County Public Health is to create healthy places to live, learn, work and play.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 1:50 PM in Category: Bandon Marsh NWR
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