National Mosquito Control Awareness Week is June 18 – 24. Warmer weather means more summer fun and out-door activities. It also signals the arrival of some uninvited, hungry guests who want to crash the party. Mosquito season is upon us, so take this opportunity to learn how the City of Chesapeake helps prevent mosquitos and how you can play a role in prevention, too!
Mosquito Prevention in Chesapeake
The Mosquito Control Commission battles mosquitos year-round, but they are especially busy this time of year. Mosquitos love standing water, as it is the perfect environment for their eggs to hatch into larvae. Mosquito Control thwarts the spread of mosquitos at all stages of the insects’ lifecycle, beginning with the egg and larvae stages by treating ditches, puddles, and other standing bodies of water after heavy downpours.
Traps are set around Chesapeake, so mosquitos can be caught and studied to determine details concerning species, population, and mosquito-borne disease activity.
For mosquitos in flight, Mosquito control uses a truck sprayer to treat surrounding areas at nighttime. Nighttime spraying reduces the risk of spraying bees and other beneficial insects and pollinators. The amount of spray released is not harmful to humans or pets, and the insecticide breaks down quickly so it does not persist on surfaces in the environment. Routine spraying happens in Chesapeake during the summer, as spray does not prevent mosquitos from re-entering the area. For more information about the insecticide released from these trucks, scheduled spray times, spraying request forms, etc., visit the Mosquito Control pages.
How You Can Make a Difference
You can play a major role in the war against mosquitos! Remember the 3 D’s of protection: Drain, Dress, and Defend.
Drain mosquito breeding grounds. Once a week, drain all sources of standing water in your yard. Tip and toss bird baths, flowerpots, lawn equipment, yard toys, pet bowls, and miscellaneous water-filled junk. Clear gutters, dispose of old tires, repair leaking outdoor faucets, empty tarps or pool covers, and turn over canoes or other small boats.
Dress in light, loose clothing. Mosquitos are known to be attracted to dark fabric, and they can bite through tight-fitting clothing. If practical, wear long sleeves and pants.
Defend yourself against mosquitos. A fan can be a natural repellant because mosquito wings are not strong enough to fight the wind. Citronella and lemongrass can be planted in yards, as the smell of these plants is unappealing to mosquitos and helps mask your scent. Store-bought mosquito repellent with the active ingredient DEET is also an effective option to ward of these insects. Look for active ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus.
For More Information
If you have done everything possible to defend yourself against mosquitos but still have a mosquito problem, please call the Mosquito Control Commission at 757-382-3450 or request services online. They will visit your yard and help you track down potential problem areas. You can also check out the Chesapeake Mosquito Control playlist on YouTube!