CONTACT: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC highlights Delaware’s new mosquito spray notification
system during National Mosquito Control Awareness Week
DOVER (June 22, 2015) – In observance of the 19th annual National Mosquito Control Awareness Week (June 21-27), DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Mosquito Control Section is highlighting the state’s new spray notification system while encouraging Delawareans to take precautions to avoid or reduce mosquito bites by putting particular emphasis on eliminating backyard mosquito-producing habitat. And as always, DNREC’s nationally-recognized Mosquito Control Section will be there when the public needs help thwarting mosquitoes the most – during the rainy, humid stretches of summer that spawn what can seem a pestilence of hungry, buzzing, bothersome insects.
“Delaware’s environment produces a ‘wealth’ of mosquitoes,” said Dr. William Meredith, Delaware Mosquito Control administrator, and a past president of the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA), which sponsors the national awareness week. “It’s not natural in our state to have low numbers of mosquitoes, but the Mosquito Control Section works hard to make the unnatural seem natural, in keeping mosquito populations at bay, even though our slogan ‘Fight the bite’ is an ongoing battle in bringing relief to Delaware.”
Whenever there are large rainfall events, as have occurred in many parts of the state this month, Mosquito Control Section staff combat the large numbers of mosquitoes that can emerge from the insects’ natural habitats. However, contending with mosquitoes’ many artificial habitats, which essentially is anything holding standing water, requires public support, particularly from homeowners throughout the state. The best approach for mosquitoes is prevention, and it can be easy to make a difference in your community by eliminating standing water from containers on your property and encouraging your neighbors to do the same.
The growing population of Asian tiger mosquitoes is of particular concern with artificial container habitats. The Asian tiger mosquito is an aggressive, daytime biter distinguished by its white stripes on a black body. Asian tiger mosquitoes lay eggs in and hatch from buckets, tarps, flower pots, tires, rain gutters, corrugated pipes (especially those connected to downspouts) and even bottle caps – anything around your yard that can collect water. These nuisance mosquitoes don’t fly more than a few hundred yards from where they are born, so that means that if you encounter them, the source is very likely your yard or one of your immediate neighbors’. Removal of even the smallest amounts of standing water in artificial containers from your property will help reduce or eliminate these mosquitoes from your area.
If you can’t eliminate the mosquitoes from your area, remember to protect yourself from mosquito bites by avoiding outdoor activities during peak mosquito times (dusk to dawn), wearing long sleeves and long pants, and/or properly using mosquito repellent.
And also depend on DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section to help suppress mosquito populations – either larvae that never hatch or adult mosquitos that don’t stay in the air long enough to get to your skin or under it by bothering you. You can stay apprised of where and when Mosquito Control is doing battle against mosquitoes by signing up for DNREC’s new spray zone notification system, including getting advance notice of when your own area is scheduled to receive spray applications.
Also note: To help the Mosquito Control Section determine when and where to provide its free, reliable and effective control services, or to request mosquito control service, please report intolerable numbers of biting mosquitoes as below:
· New Castle County and northern Kent County from Dover north, including Dover, Little Creek, Kitts Hummock and Hartly, call Mosquito Control’s Glasgow office at 302-836-2555.
· Remainder of southern Kent County and all of Sussex County, including Marydel, Camden-Wyoming, and Magnolia, call Mosquito Control’s Milford office at 302-422-1512.
Advance public notice of when and where spraying will occur is given daily by visiting the Mosquito Control Section’s Spray Information webpage at http://de.gov/mosquitospray. You may also subscribe to receive email notices about spray applications through the Delaware Notification System. Instructions for registering with the system to access the Mosquito Control Section’s Spray Zone Notification System (SZNS) are also available on the Spray Information webpage.
For additional information about Delaware’s Mosquito Control program, please visit the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Mosquito Control Section website or call 302-739-9917.
Vol. 45, No. 204