MMCA Logo Michigan Mosquito Control Association
PO Box 366, Bay City, Michigan 48707
Committed to education and excellence through Integrated Mosquito Management
January, 2012

This is my final presidentís message, so  I get to say ďSo long, and thanks for all the fish!Ē (This is a line attributed to a group of dolphins leaving earth just before the planetís destruction in ďA Hitchhikerís Guide to the GalaxyĒ by Douglas Adams. Iím not predicting the Earthís demise, however, note that it is now 2012 and both the Mayans and John Cusack canít be wrong.) Iíve been honored to serve as president for the past year, and itís been great to work regularly with the other MMCA officers and board members, particularly as we investigated new lunch venues in pursuit of an optimal meeting location.

I think we can all expect 2012 to be a challenging year. Mosquitoes in Michigan arenít going to disappear, but letís hope that things are a bit less active than 2011. Costs for mosquito control operations are certainly not diminishing, but the abilities of ďcustomersĒ (public or private) to pay for services will continue to be stretched. New issues of dealing with NPDES permits for many of our members will cause much frustration (yes, I know ďfrustrationĒ isnít likely to define the true feelings here). Like almost every other industry, weíll be forced to do more with less. Yet, there are reasons for optimism and the recognition that things have looked similarly rough in times past. New products (e.g., spinosad derivatives) are being made available to supplement or supplant others. The lack of strong resistance in mosquito populations to most of our current weapons is also reassuring. We should remember that the NPDES permit process is not exactly welcomed by our regulatory partners, and that this may foster better cooperation between those agencies and our members, leading to an eventual reduction of, or  (dare we hope?) elimination the process. Finally, a bedrock reason for optimism is that the work we do is an important and often essential service. Without debating causality, I think weíre already starting to see the effects of climate change and this will almost certainly lead to more mosquito species and activity in Michigan. Therefore, the need for effective mosquito control will only increase in our state, and we need to continue to develop efficient, integrated management programs to address that need.

The previous paragraph points out the need to foster interactions made possible through the MMCA. This organization provides a forum to collectively address the issues that affect everyone in the field, allows the sharing of ideas and techniques, and provides training services to those entering the arena of mosquito control. I urge all of you to keep your memberships up to date and to participate as much as you can. The annual meeting is a great place to start, and to interact with your colleagues and learn about the ways that others will be dealing with the coming challenges. It also happens to be a lot of fun. Coincidentally, that meeting (originally planned for Port Huron) is coming up soon Ė February 1 and 2, at the Detroit Marriot, Troy. I hope to see many of you there.

Although this isnít really my final statement, I want to thank all of you for the opportunity to participate at the policy level of this exceptional organization. Iíve learned many things (that I donít really understand Robertís Rules of Order, for example) with my experience, but largely, Iíve had my initial impressions confirmed: A group of good-hearted, caring, and hard-working professionals have banded together to make mosquito control in Michigan more effective and safe for the people they serve.