To serve you better, we've assembled a list of our residents' most frequently asked questions. If you don't find your answer here, feel free to contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Mosquito Prevention

How can I eliminate mosquito breeding locations from around my home?

Mosquitoes MUST have standing water to complete their life cycle. Mosquitoes can hatch from eggs in as little as seven days, so it is extremely important to eliminate all stagnant water in areas around your property. Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in as little as a couple tablespoons of water, so do your part to remove standing water in discarded tires, abandoned swimming pools, pails, buckets, animal water dishes, bird baths, recreation vehicles and flower pots around your property. Additionally, make sure your watering equipment isn't leaking and pooling water around spigots or automatic sprinkler equipment.

Why do mosquitoes come back over the winter – don’t they die from cold weather?

Mosquito species can live anywhere from two weeks to two months, but adults of certain species can survive over the winter. These are typically the first mosquitoes active in the spring. Other species overwinter as eggs and can be dormant for as many as three years.

How does Jefferson County Mosquito Abatement control for mosquitoes?

Larviciding: Jefferson County strives to control mosquitoes before or immediately after eggs hatch and the mosquito is in the larva stage. Larviciding chemicals are not harmful to fish, animals or other insects, and work to prevent the larvae from growing into flying adults. Larviciding can reduce the overall pesticide usage in our integrated control program (monitoring for mosquitoes, larviciding and adulticiding). Killing mosquito larvae before they emerge as adults reduces or eliminates the need for ground or aerial application of pesticides to kill adult mosquitoes in the event of critical WNv levels.

Adulticiding: Jefferson County Mosquito Abatement District workers set traps throughout the county to trap mosquitoes and test them for the presence of the West Nile virus. When high numbers of mosquitoes are trapped in a location, or in the case West Nile virus is detected in a specific trap, crews are dispatched to the area with ground fogging trucks. The foggers disperse a fine mist of pesticides to kill flying adult mosquitoes to control populations and eliminate those carrying West Nile.

Are the chemicals that Jefferson County Mosquito Abatement uses to larvicide dangerous?

There are two methods used in larviciding, both of which are as environmentally sensitive as possible. The first essentially uses a biological pesticide, BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis israelenis), a bacteria, to target mosquito larva in infested bodies of water. The bacteria produce protein crystals that stunt the growth of mosquito larvea to prevent the larvae from maturing into flying adults. BTI has selective action; only mosquitoes, black flies and some midges are susceptible to the control agent. Aquatic animals and other insects are unaffected by BTI applications. The second larviciding treatment affects mosquitoes in the pupae and larvae stage. A natural wetting agent applied to the infested body of water actually changes the water's surface film tension so the young mosquitoes cannot get oxygen they need to survive and mature. These larviciding agents do not accumulate in the air, soil or water of a treatment site, nor are they harmful to nontarget insects.