County Mosquito Control has been hard at work trying to curb the
mosquito population after more than 10 days of continual rain and
are spraying with our trucks pretty hard, and our spraying has
increased” says Mac Gray, Vector Control Supervisor. “Typically, we
have a four night window we play with which generally gives us three
nights of spraying. Right now, we have a five night window, and we are
trying to spray five times a week, depending on the weather.”
County Mosquito Control uses a two-pronged approach when it comes to
tackling a potential mosquito problem. Their spraying efforts address
the existing mosquitos, but they also utilize a larvicide program to
prevent larvae from hatching into a new wave of mosquitos. “We are
trying to be very proactive and get a hold of the larvae before they
hatch into adult mosquitos,” says Gray.
Dare County, the primary pesticides used in the larval control
operations have very low human/mammalian toxicity. Most are very
environmentally friendly, and are toxins produced by bacteria which are
very specific to mosquitoes while in the larval stage. The pesticides
used to control the adult mosquitoes also have very low human/mammalian
toxicity, and have been used for many years. Most are "synthetic
pyrethroids," which are man-made pesticides that mimic a natural
product made from chrysanthemum plants.
is generally conducted at night during the most effective time for the
majority of species, and to provide the least inconvenience for
However, the ability to spray, and the effectiveness of the spray, is very much dependent on the weather.
is a big factor in our spraying program,” says Gray, “…and if we’re
spraying when it’s raining, the rain pushes the spray right down… But
we can get out in a little mist, and our drivers are very good about
working around the weather.”
Islanders have likely already hear the familiar hum of the mosquito
trucks in the evenings, and can help boost efforts by removing standing
water in their own backyard whenever possible.
a normal situation, we advise people to tip anything that is holding
water – flower pots, toys, tires, etc. If you can get rid of this
excess water, it reduces the population,” says Gray. “With the amount
of standing water we’ve had, it may be difficult to remove all water
from the yard, but it will help control [mosquitos] around the house.”
addition, residents with a particularly bad mosquito infestation in
their neighborhood can make a service request for Dare County Mosquito
Control to come out and address their area.
have [a service] set up so that if someone has a mosquito issue or
excess mosquitos, they can email us, and we will send someone out to
that site,” says Gray. “Currently with all the rain, everyone is
suffering right now, so we are not concentrated on one specific area.
But those requests do not fall by the wayside – the requests are still
urgent, but with all this water, [addressing] the whole county is
with a dire mosquito problem in their area can notify Dare County
Mosquito Control via the form found here:
“We do strongly suggest that people use that service request if there is an issue,” says Gray.
the meantime, the Mosquito Control team will continue their efforts to
nip a potential infestation in the bud, and will continue spraying
throughout the island, and the county.
the things that make Dare County beautiful are also the things that
make Dare County a breeding ground for mosquitos,” says Gray, “but we
are treating everything as much as we possibly can.”