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(712-848-3295) 402 Broad Street Rolfe, Iowa 50581
mosquito@iowatelecom.net

                                      Frequently Asked Questions




 -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.

 -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.

 -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.

 -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.