Contact Joanna Wilson or Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
National Mosquito Control Awareness Week June 24-30:
DNREC Mosquito Control urges citizens to partner
with state to help keep mosquito populations down
DOVER (June 15, 2012) – The American Mosquito Control Association has declared June 24-30 as the 16th annual National Mosquito Control Awareness Week. In observance of the event, Delaware’s Mosquito Control Section is encouraging Delawareans to take precautions to avoid or reduce mosquito bites and eliminate backyard mosquito breeding habitat.
The growing population of Asian tiger mosquitoes is of particular concern. The Asian tiger mosquito is an aggressive, fast-flying daytime biter distinguished by its silver or white stripes on a black body – and by the extremely large, itchy, long-lasting welts it reportedly leaves, according to Tom Moran, Mosquito Control Section regional manager, Glasgow office.
“Asian tiger mosquitoes breed in tarps, flower pots, boats, non-functioning swimming pools, rain gutters – anything around your yard that can collect water. These nuisance mosquitoes don’t fly more than several hundred yards from where they are born, so that means that if you have this type, the source is very likely your yard or one of your immediate neighbors,” Moran said.
From spring to fall each year, Delaware Mosquito Control’s public service mission includes statewide aerial spraying and ground fogging to control adult mosquito populations once they’re hatched, and targeting immature mosquitoes in their aquatic stages. However, Moran and K.C. Conaway, Mosquito Control Section Regional Manager, Milford office, agree that the best medicine for mosquitoes is prevention. It’s easy to make a difference in your community by eliminating as much standing water found in containers and pockets of collected stagnant water from your property as possible – and encouraging your neighbors to do the same.
“One of the greatest resources that the Mosquito Control Section has to combat mosquitoes is YOU,” Conaway said. “Just one container holding water on your property can produce thousands of mosquitoes that can severely reduce the quality of life for you and your neighborhood. Remember, in addition to the discomfort of biting, mosquitoes also are proven vectors of disease. The Mosquito Control Section looks forward to partnering with you to protect the safety and quality of life for residents and visitors to Delaware.”
Dr. William Meredith, Mosquito Control Section Administrator, notes that Delaware has many environmental factors and habitat conditions that can produce severe mosquito infestations, which, if not controlled, can impact quality-of-life, public health and local economies. “We rank in the Top 10 states for percentage of wetlands cover and for human population density, which in terms of causing and then having to deal with mosquito problems can be a pretty unholy mix,” Dr. Meredith said. “Our Mosquito Control staff works hard on the front line and behind-the-scenes to keep mosquito populations tolerable, and we take pride that we can help Delaware to be a much more livable state.”
Delawareans are encouraged to report mosquito control needs or concerns including intolerable infestations. Residents of New Castle County and northern Kent County including Smyrna, Clayton, Leipsic, Cheswold, Dover, Little Creek, Kitts Hummock and Hartly, can call the Glasgow Office at 302-836-2555. Residents of Sussex County and southern Kent County including Bowers Beach, Woodside, Camden-Wyoming, Magnolia, Marydel, Viola, Frederica, Felton, Houston, Milford and Harrington can call the Milford Office at 302-422-1512.
Advance public notice of when and where spraying will occur is given daily via radio announcements, by calling 800-338-8181 toll-free, or by visiting http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Services/Pages/MosquitoSection.aspx. Interested parties may also subscribe to receive email notices by visiting the DNREC homepage - click on “Email List Subscription” under Services and follow directions to sign up for mosquito control spray announcements.
For more information about Delaware’s Mosquito Control program, call 302-739-9917.
The Delaware Mosquito Control Section provides statewide services to more than 880,000 residents and more than 2 million visitors annually to maintain quality of life and protect public health by reducing the possibility of mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus. Throughout the warmer months, Mosquito Control monitors and treats mosquito populations that emerge from wetland areas found throughout the state, including ditches, stormwater ponds, wet woodlands and coastal salt marshes. The Section also works year-round on water and marsh management projects designed to reduce mosquito populations, and provides the public with information on dealing with mosquitoes, from reducing backyard breeding to avoiding mosquito bites.
Organized mosquito control began in Delaware with the formation of the Mosquito Control Commission in the 1930s, and early efforts to reduce breeding habitat involved ditch-digging of salt marshes. Mosquito control entered the modern era with the more effective use of insecticides in the early 1960s. In 1972, Mosquito Control became part of the newly formed Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, where the section remains an integral part of the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife today.
Vol. 42, No. 230