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About Us 

Experience a blast from the past that leads to who we are today.  Read all about our amazing history that dates back to 1964. Nearly sixty  years later, we are still working to protect the community from mosquitoes. 

South Walton County Mosquito Control District (SWCMCD) was established on May 26, 1964 by Vernon Bishop and his fellow Lions Club members.  The first Board of Commissioners conisisted of Mr. Bishop, Miss Lois Genevieve Maxon, and Mr. Edwin R Walline. The first Director was Mr. Aubrey Gilbert, Jr. 

Historical photo of two men setting up flag pole in front of SWCMCD Business office
L. P. Boone and Vernon Bishop putting up flag pole in front of business office. Photo property of SWCMCD

Located at 774 N County Hwy 393 in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, the district dedicated itself to the control of disease-bearing mosquitoes and other insects for the comfort, health, and prosperity of locals and those visiting the area of Northwest Florida. That same dedication is still provided today. Therefore,  advanced methods of surveillance, Arbovirus, Larvacide, Adulticide, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and source reduction programs are implemented as part of our service to you. 

Currently, there are 44 ditches that we maintain.  Thirty miles of that is composed of mosquito control ditches that are very well preserved via mowing, cleaning, and repairing at least twice a year. Though they were originally developed in the late 1960s for source reduction, the ditches continue to aid in the fight against mosquitoes by lowering the water table thus allowing it to perculate instead of remaining on the surface.  This helps eliminate mosquito breeding grounds which results in a decreased mosquito population. 

Bulldozer being used to maintain mosquito ditch
Ditch maintenance. Image taken by SWCMCD

Improving through technology ...

In 2022, SWCMCD established its first aerial program by way of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)/Drone technology. This exciting advancement has greatly enhanced the efficiency, cost effectiveness, and safety of mosquito control operations for the district. 

Drone flying in nature
Drone. Image courtesy of Canva

Benefits of UAS include the following:

  • Minimal human influence on sensitve lands
  • More precise treatments
  • Accurate ecological representation
  • Increased technician and civilian safety
  • Decreased environmental footprint
  • Increased time management and situational awareness

Following the receipt of our UAS we have successfully conducted the following operations and proven the effectiveness of unmanned technologies:

  • Breeding site identification
  • Damage assessments
  • Source site exploitation 
  • Coordinated treatment efforts
  • Vegetation Correlation 
  • Atmospheric measurements
Men working with a drone during training
Men working with drone. Image courtesy of SWCMCD

 Prospective applications include the following:

  • Thermal imaging
  • 3D Mapping

The use of 3D mapping will aid in achieving advanced terrain awareness, canopy awareness, and water flow integration with Interconnected Channel and Pond Routing or ICPR. Thermal imaging, along with LiDAR, is also a game changer.  Thermal imagery can be used in conjunction with processed imagery to increase data collection and assessment. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) can be used to create products precise measurements and can be used for canopy penetration.