Contact Us Today For More Information
(712-848-3295) 402 Broad Street Rolfe, Iowa 50581

                                      Frequently Asked Questions

 -Are there any restrictions on consuming fruits and vegetables from home gardens or local farms?

     No. The EPA has established a tolerance (acceptable level) for the product that allows wide-area mosquito application on food crops, fodder crops, pasture, and grazing areas. The application is not expected to leave a detectable residue on food crops, pastures, or forage crops. Livestock may graze in treated areas following the spraying. As always, consumers should rinse any homegrown or purchased fruits and vegetables with water before preparation or consumption.

 -Do I need to wash home-grown fruits and vegetables after the mosquito fogging?

     The amount of insecticide used to fog for adult mosquitoes is much smaller than that used to spray fruit and vegetable insect pests. However, it is always a good idea to wash fruits and vegetables before eating them to remove soil and other contaminants.

 -Is the spraying dangerous to me, my family or my pets?

     The products used for mosquito spraying has a very low toxicity to mammals, as well as dogs, cats, birds and other organisms. The acute toxicity is very low compared to common substances that people are routinely exposed to, such as caffeine and nicotine, and even over-the-counter medications.

 -Why do mosquitoes feed on blood?

     Female mosquitoes imbibe blood so that their eggs can mature prior to laying. It serves no nourishment function. Males do not take blood meals at all. In order to obtain energy, both male and female mosquitoes feed upon plant nectars

 -How long do mosquitoes live?

     Life span vary by species. Most adult female mosquitoes live 2-3 weeks. Some species that over-winter in garages, culverts and attics can live as long as 6 months.

 -How do mosquitoes grow?

     Mosquitoes have a very interesting and unique biology. They go through 3 stages before maturity - egg, larvae and pupae. Each species has a different set of conditions required to complete this process. Some species lay eggs on damp soil, where they can remain for years before hatching. Another species needs emergent vegetation (such as the common cattail) to complete this process. One basic fact that is constant for all species - stagnant water is required for the maturation cycle.

 -Where do mosquitoes lay eggs?

     Standing water is the most common place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. So, anywhere that collects water can become a mosquito breeding ground. This includes pools, buckets, dog dishes, tarps, and even puddles. Keeping your home and yard free of any standing water is the best way to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs near your home.

 -How far can mosquitoes fly?

     Mosquito species preferring to breed around the house, like the Asian Tiger Mosquito, have limited flight ranges of about 300 feet. Most species have flight ranges of 1-3 miles. Certain large pool breeders in the Midwest are often found up to 7 miles from known breeding spots. The undisputed champions, though, are the salt marsh breeders - having been known to migrate up to 100 miles in exceptional circumstances, although 20 to 40 miles are much more common when hosts are scarce. When caught up in updrafts that direct them into winds high above the ground, mosquitoes can be carried great distances.

 -Which mosquitoes transmit WNV?

     At least 43 species of mosquitoes have been found infected with the West Nile virus in the United States. Not all of these, however, are capable of maintaining the virus in such a manner as to permit them to transmit it among organisms. Many of these infected mosquitoes feed only upon birds, thus contributing to a cycling of the virus among avian populations. Other species feed upon these infective birds and then will feed upon mammals, including humans. These are called "bridge vectors" because they serve as a conduit for the virus to travel from its reservoir in birds to its final host in humans or other mammals. In urban settings, Culex pipiens is usually the primary vector. In rural areas, particularly in the western part of the United States, Culex tarsalis is the primary transmitter.

 -How are adult mosquitoes controlled?

     Mosquito control agencies use truck-mounted fogging units to apply insecticides as an ultra-low-volume (ULV) spray. ULV spray units dispense very fine aerosol droplets (fog) that stay aloft and kill mosquitoes on contact. The amount of insecticide sprayed by ULV units is small compared to the area treated, usually about 1 to 1 1/2 ounces per acre, which minimizes exposure and risks to people and the environment. Some communities have thermal foggers that use an oil carrier that is heated to disperse the pesticide in a dense smoke-like fog.

 -What are "adulticides"?

     Adulticides are a type of insecticide used to kill adult mosquitoes that spread viruses like West Nile or Zika. Adulticides may be applied by a mosquito control program, a licensed pest control professional, or as a do-it-yourself application. Adulticides can be used indoors or outdoors. Some adulticides kill adult mosquitoes immediately and some continue to kill mosquitoes over longer periods of time. When used according to product label instructions, adulticides do not harm people, pets, or the environment.

 -Why do I see mosquitoes on my street the day after adulticide spraying was done?

     There are several reasons why you might see mosquitoes the day after adulticide spraying. The mist of pesticide cannot reach all mosquitoes, so you could be seeing ones that were active at the time of spraying, but did not come in contact with the droplets of pesticide. Some of the mosquitoes you see may have just emerged from their breeding sites. Also, different kinds of mosquitoes are active at different times of the day. Since adulticide spraying for West Nile virus is usually done late in the evening, those species of mosquitoes not active at that time would not be affected by the spraying.

 -Why is the local government fogging for mosquitoes in my community?

     Some communities decide to fog because of the nuisance caused by hoards of biting mosquitoes. In some situations, officials may decide to fog because testing of mosquitoes and wild birds may have shown that mosquito-borne West Nile virus is present in the community. Contact your city or to determine why that agency has decided to fog for mosquitoes.

 -Why do they fog for mosquitoes when I am out during my evening activities?

     The best time to kill adult mosquitoes by fogging is at dusk, when they are most active and looking for food (mosquitoes feed on human or animal blood). The aerosol fog primarily targets flying mosquitoes, which is why the timing of the spray is critical.

 -Will anyone notify me before fogging?

     Yes, if you have signed up for the pre-notification checklist through your city hall by the 1st of June.

 -How long does the fog kill mosquitoes?

     During the fogging, active mosquitoes within the treated area are killed. Although the local mosquito population is reduced for a few days, fogging does not prevent mosquitoes from re-entering the area. However it does minimize the amount of future egg production, for every one mosquito killed 300 eggs have been prevented from being layed minimizing the overall population. for extended control you can view our surface/barrier control application.

 -If the city has been fogged for mosquitoes, are all mosquitoes in my area eliminated?

     Fogging will kill only part of the mosquitoes in your area for a few days. Consequently, individuals should always use personal protection when mosquitoes are present:

     •When possible, avoid places and times when mosquitoes bite.

     •Wear light-colored protective clothing. Tightly woven materials that cover arms and legs provide some protection from mosquito bites. Keep trouser legs tucked into boots or socks, and collars buttoned.

     •Make sure door and window screens fit tightly and all holes are repaired.

     •Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure, and to protect small babies any time they are outside.

     •If participating in outdoor activities when mosquitoes are biting, wear protective clothing (shoes, socks, shirt and long pants).

     For additional protection from mosquitoes, use an insect repellent. The more DEET a product contains, the longer the repellant can protect against mosquito bites. However, concentrations higher than 50 percent do not increase the length of protection. For most situations, 10 percent to 25 percent DEET is adequate. Apply repellents to clothes whenever possible; apply sparingly to exposed skin if label permits. Consult a physician before using repellents on young children.

 -What are "larvicides"?

     Larvicides are products to help control mosquitoes outside your home. They work by killing mosquito larvae and pupae before they can grow into biting adults. When used according to product label instructions, larvicides do not harm people, pets, or the environment.

 -What is a surface/barrier treatment

     Surface/Barrier spray is a water based surfactant and low dose insecticide that is applied around the perimeter of a yard. The spray is mostly water and a surfactant (soap) that will coat surfaces where applied. The surfactant helps the insecticide stick to the foliage, think soap scum. The spray is applied to shrubs, foliage and other areas within the area to be protected from mosquitoes. This barrier is targeting adult mosquitoes and effectively knocks down the population. The spray dries colorless and odorless and has no phytotoxic effects (i.e., no toxic effect on plants).

 -What are Synthetic Pyrethroids?

     Pyrethroids are synthetic chemical insecticides that act in a similar manner to pyrethrins, which are derived from chrysanthemum flowers. Pyrethroids are widely used for controlling various insects. Permethrin, resmethrin, and sumithrin are synthetic pyrethroids commonly used in mosquito control programs to kill adult mosquitoes.

 -Do Pyrethroids Pose Risks to Human Health?

     Pyrethroids can be used for public health mosquito control programs without posing unreasonable risks to human health when applied according to the label. Pyrethroids are considered to pose slight risks of acute toxicity to humans, but at high doses, pyrethroids can affect the nervous system.

 -How are Larvicides Used in Mosquito Control?

     State and local agencies in charge of mosquito control typically employ a variety of techniques in an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. An IPM approach includes surveillance, source reduction, larviciding and adulticiding to control mosquito populations. Since mosquitoes must have water to breed, source reduction can be as simple as turning over trapped water in a container to undertaking large-scale engineering and management of marsh water levels. Larviciding involves applying pesticides to breeding habitats to kill mosquito larvae. Larviciding can reduce overall pesticide usage in a control program. Killing mosquito larvae before they emerge as adults can reduce or eliminate the need for ground or aerial application of pesticides to kill adult mosquitoes.

 -What action is taken when spraying around large groups?

     We try to eliminate the spray plume from encompassing the area. (we did have a mayor call one morning after we sprayed past his party saying he was slightly put out as we sprayed past but as the attendees arrived they praised the small town attitude of taking care of his constituents to which he replied "in a small town we don't have constituents we look after our friends.")

 -Why do you continue to spray even though it is dry?

     When it is dry out the normal aides vexin mosquitoes population are lower but the culex pipiens (disease carries) are alot higher % then when its wetter out so we continue spray to keep the culex pipiens down and try to avoid problems.

 -Should I turn off the air conditioning in my house or shut windows when a mosquito spray treatment occurs?

     Leave the A/C on! Windows may also remain open. Decades ago, this was a common recommendation but as application technology and chemistries have evolved, this is no longer a necessary measure.

 -Can I treat a depression that floods in my backyard for mosquitoes?

     If the depression floods for 10 or more days, it can produce mosquitoes. However, use ONLY insecticides that are labeled for treating water for mosquitoes. Small impoundments of water can be treated for mosquito larvae with "BTI," a bacterial insecticide. One product that is available at many hardware stores for this purpose is doughnut-shaped BTI briquets (Mosquito Dunks ®). Be sure to follow the insecticide label directions exactly.

 -Can communities use other methods to control mosquitoes besides fogging?

     Yes, some communities conduct community-wide mosquito abatement programs. Whenever possible, the primary effort of such programs should be identification of mosquito-breeding sites, followed by removal or treatment of these sites with an insecticide used for control of mosquito larvae (the immature form of a mosquito). Also, homeowners should remove old tires and other unused water-holding containers, change the water in birdbaths, and drain wading pools weekly. Insect light electrocutors ("bug zappers") or sound devices do little to reduce biting mosquitoes in an area. Installing bird or bat houses to attract these insect-eating animals has been suggested as a method of mosquito control. However, there is little scientific evidence that this significantly reduces the mosquito population around homes.

 -Where can I get more information on West Nile virus?

     Call your local health department or the Iowa Department of Health or visit the Department's Web site

 -Will mosquito spraying hurt the bees?

     This is a sensitive issue and one that everyone in public health mosquito control takes very seriously. Firstly, the same protective measures followed to protect other beneficial insects also apply to bees. There has also been a lot of field work and research published by very reputable academic institutions, such as Louisiana State University and Rutgers, which demonstrate that treatments for mosquito control do not harm bees, even in cases of direct spray applications. For more information click HERE.