The mosquito control program begins with spring larviciding in April and continues with adulticiding into early September. Work may continue late into September if necessary.
The program consists of larviciding (control of immature stages of the mosquito), public education about the Asian tiger mosquito, and adult surveillance with possible spraying. The scheduled night for spraying within the city limits of Laurel is Sunday night, depending on weather and the adult mosquito count. Spraying will begin after 8 p.m. and continue through till dawn. The spray truck is grey with a Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) logo on it. While the compound used by MDA is not harmful to domestic animals and fish – it is best not to be in direct contact with the spray. The spray will dissipate by morning.
Mosquito spraying is not harmful to honeybees according to the MDA. According to the MDA Mosquito Control Website:
We are very concerned about the effects of our activities on non-target organisms, like honeybees and bats. We only conduct truck mounted spraying or misting at night. Bees are not active at night. The droplets in the spray have an extremely small diameter. The surface to mass ratio of these droplets is such that these droplets do not leave residue on surfaces. They are like tiny parachutes. When they are pulled down by gravity, drag keeps them from falling. The point is that these droplets do not land or stick on surfaces. When bees become active the next day and crawl across surfaces, those surfaces do not have any pesticide from our spray. The droplet size averages 15 micrometers. There are 1000 micrometers in a millimeter. We must have our machines tested, by law, twice a year.
If you need assistance locating breeding areas around your house, or would like to report stagnant water near your property call the Department of Public Works at 301-725-0088 or you may e-mail Public Works at[email protected]. You can also watch the Mosquito Control workshop on the City’s cable station. Laurel cable can be found on Comcast, Channel 71 or Verizon FIiOS, Channel 12. The workshop has many helpful ways to combat mosquito problems in your community.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture Mosquito Control Office can be contacted at 301-422-5080.