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 Frequently Asked Questions about Mosquito Control Activities

Q:          Why are you conducting mosquito control activities?

A:        There a number of reasons that we conduct a mosquito control activities. They include general mosquito control, testing showing that a community has certain types of mosquitoes that can transmit disease, or testing showing that there are people with an infection that can be transmitted by mosquitoes.

Q:        Does someone here have Zika/WNV/another mosquito-borne disease?

A:         We cannot share that information due to privacy concerns and laws.

Q:        What mosquito control activities will you be conducting?

A:         Teams of staff from the Health Department and Maryland Department of Agriculture will visit property owners in target areas. They will ask property owners for permission to inspect their yards to identify potential breeding sites for mosquitoes. If they are given permission, they will walk around the property and show owners potential mosquito breeding sites and give them information on how to take care of them.

If appropriate, teams will ask for permission to apply larvicide or barrier spray to limited, targeted areas of concern.

Q:        What if no one is home?

A:         If no one is home, teams will leave information about mosquito control, as well as contact information. They will not inspect the property or apply pesticides.

Q:        What right do you have to enter someone’s property?

A:         We ask permission to inspect property and identify potential breeding sites for mosquitoes.  Because this is a possible public health issue, we work with people to eliminate mosquito breeding sites.  This can then reduce the risk of transmission of diseases that can be carried by mosquitoes.

If someone doesn’t want us on their property and we believe there are mosquito breeding areas on the property, someone from the Health Department may be in contact to follow up. If it is a public health concern, the Health Department can take steps to protect the public.

Q:        Will property owners get in trouble if you find mosquito breeding sites?

A:         No, they will not get in trouble if we find mosquito breeding sites when we do this inspection.  We want to teach people how to protect themselves, their families, and communities from mosquitoes and the diseases they can transmit to humans.  If people take these steps, they can help to prevent transmission of diseases by mosquitoes.

Q:        What if a property owner has concerns about larvicides or pesticides?

A:         Application of pesticides or pesticides will not occur on any property or any area within a property unless permission is given by the property owner or tenant.

For more information on larvicides and pesticides:

This link provides more information on the chemicals used and addresses concerns about impact on wildlife.

Q:        What can I do to protect myself and my family from mosquitoes?

A:         You can inspect your own property for areas where water collects. Mosquitoes can breed in very small amounts of water. Look for and empty or throw away toys, trash, flower pots, pet dishes, trash can lids, etc.

Fix any tears in window and door screens.

Take steps to prevent mosquito bites. Use recommended repellents as directed, and wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants.

Learn more on our Fight the Bite page.

Q:        What if my neighbor’s property has mosquito-breeding areas?

A:         If you are concerned about standing water on someone else’s property, call the Health Department’s Bureau of Environmental Health at 410-876-1884.

Q:        I think I might have a mosquito-borne disease. What should I do?

A:         Talk to your health care provider. If you have a question about testing for mosquito-borne diseases, call the Health Department’s Bureau of Nursing at 410-876-4900.

September 8, 2016