Mosquito Control Program

Details About Mosquito Spraying in Laurel

Mosquito Season has arrived and the City of Laurel will, once again, participate in the Maryland Department of Agriculture's Mosquito Control Program. This program consists of two parts - larviciding and adulticiding. The larviciding is limited to public right-of-ways and areas where there are large amounts of standing water. The adulticiding phase consists of city-wide nighttime spraying. The City is scheduled for Sunday evenings when warranted.

The City understands the concerns of residents with respect to "spray" and "no spray." It is the City's goal to reduce the mosquito population using non-chemical methods so as to reduce the need for the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) to spray.

The Non-chemical method requires community involvement, a good understanding of the lifecycle of the mosquito, the breeding grounds, and what is necessary for the mosquito to grow from larva to adulthood.

The best method for preventing the increase of mosquitoes is a coordinated community cleanup. The biggest nuisance is the Asian Tiger Mosquito (ATM) which will come out day and/or night. The ATM is a container breeder -it can lay its eggs in any standing water such as: old tires, children's toys, clogged gutters, bird baths, flowerpots, cans, bottles, wading pools, and pet water dishes to name just a few. In addition to "containers," any low-lying areas in your yards that can hold water for up to seven days may also be a mosquito breeding ground. Stopping mosquitoes at the larva stage is critical to mosquito control. Remember Tip it or Toss it. Containers of all sizes need to be tipped or tossed at least once per week.

Residents can find excellent videos under The "Mosquito Control Program" on the Emergency Management page of the City's website explaining the Tip It or Toss It Program and the MDA's video on the lifecycle of the mosquito and additional tips to help reduce the mosquito population.

The Environmental Program Manager can assist with providing additional information regarding the breeding habits and lifecycle of mosquitoes and an update as to the status of spraying will be published on Friday afternoons. If you would like additional information, please contact the Office of the City Administrator at 301-725-5300.

Mosquito Myths

There are many stories circulating about different methods of controlling / repelling mosquitoes. Most of them are myths:

Bats

While bats will feed on many different insects, they do not seem to have a preference for mosquitoes and will most often go after larger prey such as beetles or moths. Other studies that analyzed the stomach contents of bats show that less than 1% of their diet is mosquitoes.

Purple Martins

While they eat a large variety of flying insects, they are not overly fond of mosquitoes. A 7-year study conducted by the Purple Martin Conservation Association did not find a single sample (out of 500) containing any mosquitoes. Purple martins are actively feeding during the day and most mosquitoes are active at dusk or after dark.

Bug Zappers

While some people may find it comforting to hear a bug zapper's noise, most of what they kill are moths and beetles; with less than 7% of their kill being mosquitoes.

Citrosa Plants (Mosquito Plant Geraniums)

These plants are actually scented geraniums that produce a citronella-like scent when the leaves are crushed. The mosquito plant geranium was created by taking specific genes from the Chinese citronella grass and African geranium. Research has shown that this plant is actually ineffective unless you are inclined to crush the leaves and rub them on your skin; still not performing any better than other products, or using nothing at all.

The best environmentally friendly way to reduce the mosquito population is through community involvement with Tip It Or Toss It. Since mosquitos can breed in very little water, make sure to remove standing water around your home. To learn more about ways to manage mosquito populations, click the link below -

Non-Pesticide Mosquito Management Methods (PDF)