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The City Journals

What is the Mosquito Abatement District?

Jul 26, 2021 03:22PM ● By Erin Dixon

The Salt Lake Valley is split into three districts. Each district helps contain the mosquito population within its borders to prevent spread of disease. (Pixabay)

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

Have you noticed a line on your property tax bill that says Mosquito Abatement? What is that? Why do they get your tax money?

There are three mosquito abatement districts in Salt Lake County. Each of them serves their area, performing similar functions: Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement, Magna Mosquito Abatement, South Salt Lake Valley Mosquito Abatement. 

“Mosquitos are definitely a nuisance,” Brian Hougaard, manager for South Salt Lake Valley Mosquito Abatement District, said. “They have the potential to carry diseases.” 

A mosquito abatement focuses heavily on mosquitos that carry West Nile Virus, a disease that can cause severe inflammation to the brain and spinal cord. 

“We have 52 different trap sites, using three different types of traps. We use these traps not only to monitor the number of mosquitos in the area...we also use those to catch [and] test for West Nile virus,” Hougaard said. 

Each district employs full-time, year-round experts, but then hires seasonal workers for the summer. The staff spends their time checking traps, testing mosquitoes for potential viruses and responding to resident calls. 

Residents can call for an inspection. They will inspect horse troughs, residential ponds, tree holes and catch basins. 

If there are mosquito larvae, the district can put in mosquito fish, an aggressive eater of mosquitos, or briquettes that prevent larvae from hatching into adults.