REMEMBERING MR. JOHN BEIDLER
Mr. John Beidler was a legend within the mosquito control industry. Respected and admired by all, he led the industry in implementing scientifically valid approaches to mosquito control and emphasized the importance of legislative advocacy. His career in entomology has spanned eight decades. John was first introduced into the world of mosquitos during WWII, when as a high school student, he was offered a part-time job at the USDA lab in Orlando Florida. It was at this lab that he began to research mosquitoes as they conducted early testing on the efficacy of DDT on saltmarsh mosquitoes. As the war continued, John served in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps and upon his discharge entered the University of Florida where he received a degree in entomology in 1950. John took his talents and honed his skills collaborating with a private company testing insecticides to control insects on cattle and then moved on to become the Regional Entomologist for the Florida Department of Health. In 1955, John became the Director of the Indian River Mosquito Control District (District)where he served in that position for 48 years, retiring in 2003. John continued to participate in the mosquito control community and was a Director Emeritus at the District.
Under John’s leadership, he created a District program that migrated to using the biologically sensitive materials methoprene (an insect growth regulator) and Bti (a bacterial product) along with rotational impoundment management as an environmentally friendly source reduction technique. Additionally, he was responsible for developing the formulation of adhering methoprene on sand to control saltmarsh mosquitoes in densely vegetated wetlands. John continued to research techniques and authored papers concerning spray droplet technology and testing. His passion for mosquito control has inspired future generations in the pursuit of using best practices to manage mosquito populations while protecting natural resource interests.
John has been recognized by the industry and his peers throughout his career. He has been known as the “Dean of Florida Mosquito Control”, received the Florida Mosquito Control Association’s (FMCA) prestigious Maurice Provost Award along with their Meritorious Service Award and was the recipient of the American Mosquito Control Association’s Medal of Honor. John’s dedication to education led him to participate and assume leadership roles in FMCA, serving as a past president and contributed to organizing a Director’s Caucus at the Dodd Short Courses, a FMCA training conference.
John built a legacy, creating a strong and solid foundation which fosters scientific research, environmentally conscientious operations, and a program that proudly serves the Indian River community.DISTRICT OVERVIEW
The Indian River Mosquito Control District (IRMCD) is an independent taxing district which was legislatively established in 1925 and provides mosquito control services in the eastern 2/3 of Indian River County. IRMCD is a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) state-certified mosquito control program.
- Enabling Legislation - Chapter 2006-344 Laws of Florida
- Enabling Legislation Amendment - Chapter 2011-243 Laws of Florida
- Mosquito Control - Fla. Statues Chapter 388
- Mosquito Control Program Administration - Chapter 5E-13, F.A.C.
The District government has been organized according to the Council–Administrator form of government. As such, the Board of Commissioners (Board) sets policy, adopts legislation, and approves the budget. The Board of Commissioners appoints an administrator to conduct the day-to-day district business, to prepare the budget, to oversee department heads and to recommend policy to the Board.
The three members of the Board of Commissioners are elected at large for staggered, four-year terms. To accomplish this, two Commission seats are up for election in one election cycle with the remaining Commission seat up for election in a second election cycle two years later. Board officers are elected annually.
IRMCD’s operating budget is generated primarily by ad valorem property taxes. IRMCD is a sustaining member of the Florida Mosquito Control Association (FMCA), the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA), and the Florida Association of Special Districts (FASD). IRMCD participates in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) by being a “PESP partner under the AMCA's auspices”.
IRMCD’s current facilities (on 10 acres of property located at 5655 41st Street, Vero Beach, FL) were originally constructed in 1967 with significant additions and renovations undertaken during 2000 and 2006. The buildings include a main office with laboratories, shop, vehicle work bays, chemical (and general) storage rooms, covered vehicle and equipment storage areas, and a poultry raising/holding building. No underground tanks exist on IRMCD property. In 2009 the District received title to Hole-in-the-Wall Island located in the Indian River Lagoon at the eastern terminus of 69th Street. It is a 130 acre mosquito control impoundment dominated by mangroves with an all-encompassing conservation easement. In June of 2015, Indian River Mosquito Control District purchased an undivided one-half interest in the lot located at 609 19th Street SE as tenants in common with the Indian River Land Trust. This lot serves as access to our South Bills Impoundment.
IRMCD has over 30 vehicles which are regularly used in carrying out IRMCD’s responsibilities. They include 4WD pickup trucks, an F-350 pump service truck, dump trucks. IRMCD typically maintains 10 all-terrain-vehicles (ATVs and RTVs) which are used by the Inspector/Sprayers for field inspections, ground treatments and herbicide applications. The District also owns heavy equipment such as a tractor, rubber-tracked skid steer loaders, grinder, forklift, and numerous heavy duty impoundment pumps installed at various locations along the Indian River Lagoon. IRMCD also operates several boats primarily for larval inspections.
All full-time IRMCD employees are required to be licensed in Public Health Pest Control by FDACS. This license permits employees to apply restricted-use pesticides. Employees maintain this license by attending State-approved programs where continuing education credits are provided. In-house training is also provided on all aspects of our program, including conducting state-approved education credit courses. Several employees have also received Advanced Inspector/Sprayer Certification through FDACS and the University of Florida. IRMCD staff members regularly provide educational programs for the public including service organizations, schools, environmental organizations, church groups, etc.
WORKER SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS
IRMCD has a formal safety program which qualifies for a Workers Compensation discount. IRMCD has periodic inspections by the FDACS and the local health department for compliance monitoring. A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) book of chemicals that IRMCD uses is kept current and available to all employees for their review. Fire extinguishers, which are inspected and serviced annually, are located throughout IRMCD property and in each vehicle. Emergency wash facilities are available on the District property. Hiring practices are consistent with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). IRMCD is a drug free workplace. Employees are required to maintain a good driving record.