There is perhaps no bigger threat to mosquito surveillance, treatment and biodiversity in our upland, brackish and salt marshes than that posed by invasive species like Phragmites (Phragmites australis) or Common Reed.
Phragmites australis marches seaward - Marblehead
Phragmites stands are typically dense and impenetrable to predatory fish and Field Technicians alike. This hinders and in many cases prohibits mosquito control professionals from sampling and treating mosquitos found in this habitat. Phragmites stands are a tremendous fire hazard for those living or working in or near them. The District has conducted Phragmites mowing services for many years as a means to provide safer and efficient access for District Field Technicians to underlying mosquito habitat as well as a fire suppression tool.
Mowing for Mosquito Surveillance and Fire Suppression ~ Revere
More recently the District has partnered with the Great Marsh Revitalization Task Force in an effort to prevent loss of vital salt marsh habitat in The Great Marsh. Flail mowing of herbicide-treated phragmites helps to relieve the over-story burden, reduces competition for valuable resources and allows for germination of “native” plant seeds, and allows access of natural mosquito predators. Mowing ensures that District Field Technicians have safe access and unobstructed view of the underlying habitat for efficient mosquito surveillance and treatment. Great Marsh Revitalization Task Force
Mowing reveals mosquito habitat - Revere]
Dipper of Mosquitoes in Phragmites - Revere
Helpful Links to Invasive Plants Information