Frequently Asked Questions

M.A.D. FAQS

The Mosquito Abatement District is a unique and often misunderstood political subdivision authorized by the Ohio Revised Code as a special sanitary district. The following FAQs have been compiled to provide the public with a better understanding of who we are, what we do, and how we do it.

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Q : What is the MAD?

A : The MAD is the Mosquito Abatement District that was formed in 2005 by citizens of the cities of Barberton and Norton, Ohio. Its official name, as declared by Judge Jane Bond, on 6-23-2005, is the "Barberton-Norton Mosquito Abatement District".

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Q : Where does the MAD operate?

A : According to the original decision by Judge Bond, the MAD's boundaries are the territorial limits of the cities of Norton and Barberton within Summit County, Ohio. Any entity can request to join MAD by contacting our office.

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Q : Why was the MAD formed?

A : Mosquitos are known to carry several diseases, and are also a nuisance to people and pets. In the 1990's, the Barberton Health Department periodically sprayed in Barberton and Norton for mosquito nuisance control. When West Nile Virus appeared in the US in the late 1990's, the Health Department began monitoring for the disease. The program was a voluntary program, since Health Departments are not required to control mosquitoes unless a disease outbreak occurs. In 2004, because State and Federal mandated programs were taking a bigger part of the Health Department's funds, the City of Barberton decided to end mosquito spraying unless an emergency occurred. There are nearly 1000 Abatement Districts across the nation. 

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Q : Who formed the MAD?

A : Some of the members of the Barberton Board of Health, and the Director of the Health Department, felt that eliminating the control program was not wise. It is far more difficult to control an epidemic than to keep one from starting. They circulated petitions in the cities of Barberton and Norton, which were signed by citizens who wanted the program to continue plus make it a complete Integrated Mosquito Management Program. The petitions were submitted to the Summit County Common Pleas Court, and based on Ohio Revised Code 6115, a special sanitary district was created just to control biting arthropods (in this case, mosquitoes).

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Q : When does the MAD operate?

A : The MAD provides a comprehensive and extensive mosquito reduction program using state-of-the-art equipment and environmentally safe pesticides. The field program is active from early April into October, the time when mosquitoes bite and breed in NE Ohio. When conditions warrant, the season may start as early as March and extend to November. or early October. 

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Q : How does the MAD control mosquitoes?

A : The program consists of

larvaciding with products that are mainly made of natural bacteria at known wet areas and roadside ditches; This activity eliminates eggs from becoming adults.

Adulticiding (spraying) IF NEEDED routinely every 2 weeks to eliminate biting adult mosquitoes;

surveillance for mosquito-borne disease and mosquito populations;

education of the public about mosquito-borne diseases and mosquito populations, and

water management (elimination of standing/stagnant water).

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Q : You are not due to spray my Ward until next week. I am having a yard party this weekend. What will it cost to have my yard sprayed before the party?

A : There is no extra charge for custom treatment of a property within the MAD. Call the MAD Operations Manager at 330-848-2623 and let us know at least 5 days in advance of the event, and we will send a crew to custom spray the property, free of charge.

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Q : Why bother to control mosquitoes?

A : There are two compelling reasons for mosquito control - disease and nuisance. To quote the Ohio Department of Health West Nile Virus State Plan, Combatting West Nile Virus,

"The objectives of an adult Mosquito Management Program are: (1) to reduce the potential transmission of West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis virus or other mosquito-borne diseases; and (2) to control nuisance mosquitoes in order to provide a comfortable and healthy environment for outdoor activities. "

Mosquito species found in the MAD carry viruses that can infect the brains, spinal chords, and blood of humans, livestock, and pets. These viruses are transmitted through a mosquito bite. The very young and old are more susceptible to having serious complications and death due to infection.

Mosquito-borne viruses found in the MAD we service are West Nile virus (WNV), LaCrosse encephalitis (LCE), Eastern equine encephalitis EEE), and St. Louis encephalitis (SLE). Dog heartworm is a non-viral disease commonly found in the MAD. Malaria is a protozoan disease spread by mosquitoes; it was once very common in Ohio but is rarely seen today though we do have residents who aquired the disease from travel and has brought it back into Ohio.

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Q : How does the MAD monitor for those diseases?

A : The MAD collects mosquitoes routinely for disease analysis. Every year a number of trap samples test positive for West Nile virus. MAD collected nearly 40,000 mosquitoes for testing in 2018 These are put into vials with up to 50 mosquitoes which one vial is referred to as a pool. There was 112 positive pools found in 2018 in our district.

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Q : If disease control is not a big problem, and the Health Department will step in if an epidemic occurs, why have the MAD?

A : It needs to be stressed that the primary purpose for mosquito control by the MAD is for health and nuisance abatement. Mosquitoes can be a nuisance that prevent you from enjoying your property on a summer evening. Children are bitten, causing itching, scratching, open sores and sleepless nights. People like to be outdoors on those warm summer evenings; MAD exists to make life more enjoyable.

Maintaining the MAD ensures that the equipment, trained staff and safe pesticides are readily available to provide additional treatments when disease is found.

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Q : How do you know your spraying is effective?

A : The MAD collects mosquitoes in special EVS light traps to determine the number of mosquitoes in your neighborhood. Ten (10) or more mosquitoes in a light trap is considered a nuisance. The goal of the MAD is to keep the mosquito population below ten (10) throughout the summer thereby ensuring a diseases and nuisance mosquitoes are kept to a minimum in the community.

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Q : What standards do other districts use??

A : Standards vary widely. The State of Ohio has not published a standard. The Summit County Health District has not published a standard.

 

Some districts that have published standards are :

MD Dept of Ag 10/trap/night ** nuisance control

AZ, Maricopa County 30/trap/night ** disease control

ID, Ada County 20/trap/night (floodwater sp.)

5/trap/night (Culex) ** disease control

FL (State Statute) 25/trap/night ** nuisance control

DE (State DNR) 25/trap/night ** that number is a "nuisance

condition substantially lowering

the quality-of-life."

CA (Sacramento/Yolo) 50/trap/over 3 nights

(16.7/trap/night avg) ** disease control

Gov't of CANADA 25/trap/night ** nuisance control

It is obvious that standards for nuisance control are very subjective. The MAD (and before it, the Barberton Health Department) has for many years agreed with residents that more than 10 mosquitoes per trap per night indicates a nuisance condition along with visual surveillance and reports from residents in an area.

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Q : Isn't is cheaper to just buy insect repellant?

A : Not really. The current charge for mosquito abatement is 0.52mills. That is 52 cents for every thousand dollars of a property's assessed value, or $18.20 per year for a home that the Auditor has appraised at $100,000. A typical spray can of repellant costs $7 - $10, and if used every other day by a family of four, would probably last less than two weeks.

Let’s try a story problem : If an 11 ounce can of OFF™ costs $7- $10 per can (plus 6.75% SALES TAX!) and the owner of a $100,000 home needs 4 cans per season, what is cheaper and more convenient -- paying a $18.20 annual assessment for round-the-clock mosquito control, or paying about $40 plus for enough repellant?

That does not take into consideration the use of the repellant on any guests who might be in the yard for an evening outing. The repellant would also probably not be used on pets, and protecting the family pup from mosquitoes carrying dog heartworm is important to many dog owners. If you throw in the fact that free custom spraying for special events is available, the MAD assessment is a bargain.

            Resolved further, that the Board of Directors’ accepts the Report of the Board of Appraisers for the District and exempts the following properties from the above stated assessment:

                                                                                                Land Use Code (LUC)

            Owned by United States of America                                      600

            Owned by State of Ohio                                                          610, 615

            Owned by Summit County                                                      620

            Owned by Townships                                                             630

            Owned by Municipalities                                                        640

            Owned by Board of Education                                               650

            Owned by Parks Districts (Publicly Owned)                          660

            Graveyards, Monuments and Cemeteries                             690