Mosquito season is here; Tip and toss to fight the bite this summer

Posted June 25, 2021 at 8:50 am     Category: News ReleasePublic Health

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – Mosquito season is here in New Hanover County and during National Mosquito Awareness Week, which runs from June 20 to June 26, county Public Health officials are reminding community members of the important role they play in controlling mosquitoes at home.

“Mosquitoes only need one tablespoon of water and a week to breed, and they’re more than a nuisance – they pose a health risk because they can carry diseases like West Nile Virus,” said New Hanover County Public Health Director David Howard. “But taking simple steps around your own home can help control the mosquito population and protect your household and your neighbors.”

The New Hanover County Health and Human Services’ Public Health mosquito control section monitors mosquito activity using traps around the county to analyze mosquito species and population to identify areas with increased activity and determine how to treat them effectively.

A variety of mosquito population control methods are used, including mosquito prevention education, larvicide to target larvae and breeding sites, mosquito larvae eating fish, habitat mitigation for source reduction and ultra-low volume mosquito spraying with EPA-registered pesticide. Spraying typically occurs in late spring through early fall across 29 spray zones in the county. Residents can view a mosquito spray zone map and sign up to get spraying alerts when scheduled in their area by visiting Health.NHCgov.com.

Those who have previously subscribed to mosquito spraying alerts can visit Health.NHCgov.com to change alert preferences to a phone call, text message, or both. Next week, subscribers will receive a message from New Hanover County Public Health announcing updates to spraying alerts with prompts to change your notification preferences to text alerts or to unsubscribe. No action is required to remain on the notification list and continue to receive mosquito spraying alerts for your area.

Below are mosquito protections that all residents can take at home:

  • Dump water from all containers and store them inside or with a cover. For large containers or non/low-flowing ditches, Public Health has free larvicide kits (ZKits) available at the Government Center (230 Government Center Drive, Suite 140) and the Health and Human Services building (1650 Greenfield Street) while supplies last. ZKits should not be used in ponds as they are typically too deep for mosquito breeding or contain natural predators.
  • Tip and toss twice a week. Clean out items like flowerpot saucers, children’s toys, bird baths, boats, buckets, container lids, tarps, and tires.
  • Clear roof gutters of debris.
  • Plug tree holes.
  • Reduce time spent outdoors, particularly in early morning and evening hours when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use screened windows and doors and make sure screens fit tightly and are not torn.
  • Wear light-weight and long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Apply mosquito repellent containing active ingredients such as DEET, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, Picaridin, or IR3535 to exposed skin areas following the label directions.

Learn more about the work of Mosquito Control, find a weekly spray map and schedule, and sign up to receive alerts when mosquito spraying is planned in your area at Health.NHCgov.com.

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Communications and Outreach: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 195 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7461 • Fax 910-798-7277
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