Following a 1922 epidemic of dengue fever in Miami, on December 6 of that year, a conference was held in Daytona Beach to discuss the problems of mosquito
control in Florida. Approximately one hundred and fifty delegates attended the
conference. On the following day, December 7, 1922, the Florida Anti-Mosquito Association
(FAMA) was formally organized under the presidency of
Colonel Joseph Y. Porter.
Colonel Porter was the first State Health Officer and internationally known for
his contributions to the control of yellow fever. FAMA was the first organized gathering
of mosquito workers in the state though efforts to control malaria began in Florida
during World War I.
Recognizing the need for local organized mosquito control, the newly formed Florida
Anti-Mosquito Association, along with the Florida State Board of Health Division
of Entomology, sponsored legislation for the creation of organized mosquito
control districts. In 1925,
Indian River County had the first mosquito control law
passed by the State legislature allowing its freeholders to establish the
Indian River Mosquito Control District funded by a special local tax. Over
the next ten years, four more MCDs were established. This was the beginning of organized
mosquito control in Florida, which currently has 50 separate mosquito control agencies
throughout the state.
The Association and its members were also responsible for the creation, promotion,
and passage of two State bills which greatly aided the cause of mosquito and arthropod
control in Florida. The first bill, passed in 1949, provided for limited matching
of local funds for mosquito control in any county of the state. A second bill, passed
in 1953, provided for limited matching funds for the elimination of mosquito breeding
sites and for the construction of sanitary land fills. This bill also carried an
additional appropriation to construct and staff a laboratory for the purpose of
conducting research to support the mosquito control programs of the state. This
laboratory, originally known as the Entomological Research Center and presently as
the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, is located in Vero Beach.
The Association also sponsored three Legislative Enabling Acts which dealt with
the creation and operation of mosquito control districts.
One of these also allowed
for the construction and staffing of a second state laboratory to conduct research
on the control of mosquitoes, dog flies, yellow flies and other arthropods. This
laboratory, originally known as the West Florida Arthropod Research Laboratory and
later as the John A. Mulrennan, Sr, Public Health Entomology Research and Education
Center (PHEREC), was located in Panama City. The PHEREC lab was closed on June 30,
In 1990 the FAMA's name was changed to the Florida Mosquito Control Association
to better reflect the true efforts of the association.