Larval Mosquito Surveillance is Underway

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Provided by Prince William County

Each spring signals the beginning of mosquito season. There are about 30 mosquito species regularly found in Prince William County.

For some, females mate in the fall and spend the winter hibernating in animal burrows, hollow logs or even basements. Others lay eggs in the fall that are hardy enough to withstand winter weather, and the larvae emerge in spring. Upon spring emergence, mated female mosquitos look for a “blood meal” to obtain the nutrients required to lay eggs.
All mosquitos require standing water to lay eggs. Many species have specialized habitats they prefer to use, such as flood plains, woodland pools or artificial containers.
The Mosquito and Forest Pest Management Branch follows Integrated Pest Management standards for safer and more effective mosquito control. In April, Environmental Specialists begin routine inspections at thousands of sites across the County. Sites include stormwater ponds, streams, roadside ditches and any other location where mosquito larvae were found in the past.
When larvae are found, specialists try to remove the source. Source reduction tactics include dumping water from any artificial containers and removing debris to increase stream flow or clear a drain. When source reduction is not possible, specialized larvicides are applied. Typically, this is a biological pesticide that uses a naturally occurring bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), which specifically targets mosquito larvae.
Larval inspections will continue into fall until the mosquito populations subside. For questions or concerns about mosquitos, call (703) 792-6279 or email [email protected].
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