DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section is set to begin it’s annual spring woodland pool spraying beginning on Tuesday. They plan to control immature aquatic mosquito larvae in wooded wetland areas near select populated areas. The spraying is set to begin in Southern Sussex County and eventually work it’s way up to Kent and New Castle Counties.
In most years, DNREC says about 10,000 wooded acres that would produce large numbers of early-season mosquitoes are strategically sprayed by helicopter using insecticides to control mosquito larvae.
DNREC reports that areas to be sprayed are determined by the location and size of woodland pools, which can vary from year to year based on precipitation levels from the past autumn, winter, and early spring. High precipitation levels have resulted in more extensive and above normal woodland pool habitat this year. It is not possible for logistical or budgetary reasons to spray all 100,000 or more acres of Delaware’s woodland mosquito-producing habitats, so wet woodlands near the state’s most populated areas are targeted to provide the best return-on-investment in providing mosquito relief to the most people.
Officials urge residents to help reduce mosquito-producing sites by emptying or eliminating backyard artificial containers that hold water and produce mosquitoes later in the spring, such as the Asian tiger mosquito known to carry illnesses including West Nile virus. Backyard mosquito-producing standing water can be reduced by cleaning clogged rain gutters and downspout extenders, keeping fresh water in birdbaths, draining abandoned swimming pools, and preventing or emptying standing water from containers such as scrap tires, cans, buckets, flower pot saucers, unused water cisterns, children’s toys, upright wheelbarrows, uncovered trash cans, and depressions in tarps covering boats or other objects stored outside.
The public can learn about locations and times of spraying for mosquitoes via daily radio announcements, or by calling 800-338-8181 toll-free. Interested parties also may subscribe to receive email, text, or phone message spray announcements for their area by signing up on Mosquito Control’s Spray Zone Notification System at http://de.gov/mosquitospray.