Residents Encouraged to Reduce Backyard Mosquito Breeding Grounds
The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) truck-based adult mosquito control spray operation is set to begin today. MDA will begin spraying participating Eastern Shore communities today in Somerset, Dorchester and Queen Anne’s counties (weather permitting). More statewide spraying will begin next week. Each year, MDA works with about 2,500 communities in 16 counties across the state to survey and monitor mosquito populations and implement appropriate control activities.
“The primary goal of this program is to prevent the occurrence of mosquito-borne disease in humans, pets and livestock,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “Mosquito control is an economic necessity in some parts of the State dependent on outdoor tourism during the summer.”
Spraying is in response to increasing populations of mosquitoes emerging from low lying freshwater wetlands. This emergence of mosquitoes is typical this time of year and coincides with the longer and warmer days of spring.
Communities Can Sign Up to Participate
MDA is currently accepting applications to participate in the mosquito adulticide program. Communities interested in participating in the program should call MDA regional offices. On the Eastern Shore, call the Salisbury office at 410-543-6626; Southern Maryland residents can call 301-373-4263; Central and Western Maryland residents can call 301-422-5080. All remaining counties should call the Annapolis office at: 410-841-5870.
Exemption Request Forms Available
Residents in participating communities who want their owned or leased property excluded from nuisance mosquito control spraying must submit the request in writing to the Department. The exemption form is available on MDA’s website at: http://mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/Documents/MosquitoControlExemptionForm.pdf.
Tips for Residents to Reduce Mosquitoes
In addition to encouraging residents to learn about simple things they can do around their homes and yards to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, MDA is encouraging people to take measures to protect themselves including:
- Wear long, loose fitting, light colored clothing
- Wear insect repellents according to product labels
- Avoid mosquito infested areas during prime periods of activity (between dusk and dawn)
- Install, inspect, and repair window and door screens in homes and stables
- Regularly clean bird baths and bowls for pet food and water
- Remove or empty all water-holding containers
For informational videos and tips to reduce breeding areas, visit: http://mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/Pages/mosquito_control.aspx.
Additional Mosquito Control Activities
Typical MDA mosquito control activities include public health arboviral surveillance and testing, mosquito population surveillance, source reduction, biological control, ground and aerial application of insecticides and public education.
In addition to MDA’s truck-based spray operations, MDA operates a larviciding-by-air program on the Eastern Shore to control mosquito larvae in wetlands and salt marshes to kill mosquitoes before they develop into adults and fly into populated areas. This reduces the need to spray for adult mosquitoes by thousands of acres, and reduces the risk of transmitting mosquito-borne diseases to people, dogs and horses. In situations where high mosquito populations are prevalent or a threat to public/animal health exists, MDA will conduct aerial adulticide applications to control the mosquito population.
In our truck-based spray program, MDA uses the insecticide Biomist 30-30 which is a synergized synthetic pyrethroid product that provides effective control of adult mosquitoes in residential and recreational areas.