What does NEMMC do exactly?
Our control efforts are based on historical data and surveillance. We perform based on our Integrated Pest and Vector Management Plan(IPMVMP). Using targeted pesticide and larvicide applications only after pre-determined thresholds of mosquitos have been exceeded, or virus is present. Mosquito control is also performed without use of pesticides at all, which is called biological controls. Please click “Resident Services” page and “Departments” page to learn more.
What do you do in the winter?
Mosquito control is done through the winter months too! This is done by clearing blocked ditches and steams, discouraging water from becoming stagnant. This limits mosquito breeding in the area without the use of pesticides. See more in our Field Operations and Wetlands page for more detail.
How often do you “spray” for mosquitos?
“Spraying” for mosquitos is also known as Adulticiding. This part of our service is very controlled and only permitted by boards of health in certain towns. If virus is detected, many variables will come into play to do the proper treatment based on the Best Management Plan for that town.
Can you come “spray” my house?
Click here to see if your town allows residential adulticiding requests.
When will you come to “spray” and what can I do to prepare?
The pesticide we use to target adult flying mosquitos is only applied after the sun sets; this offers more protection for honey bees, other native insects, and vegetation. You can expect our field technicians to come to your property any time after sunset, back the pickup truck down your driveway, allowing the sprayer to face your backyard. The mist expands over 300 feet, and does not need to be applied for more than a few minutes. This is a quick application to kill the current flying mosquitos only. To help us help you, please clear drive way of any vehicles or obstacles, allowing the applicators easy access to your yard.
Why control mosquitos at all?
Mosquito control emerged in the beginning of the century once scientists realized they can carry virus and disease that can kill people. Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus can occur in Massachusetts when the proper precautions are not taken. These diseases are hazardous and can be life threatening. Disease prevention through preparedness remains the District’s primary focus and a critical part of public health.
Avoid Mosquito Bites
- Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)], or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
- Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitos. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.
- Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wear long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors to help keep mosquitos away from your skin.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
- Drain Standing Water. Mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitos to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.
- Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitos outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
Protect Your Animals
Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools – especially after heavy rains. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitos near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitos. Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE. If an animal is diagnosed with WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to DAR, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795 and to the Department of Public Health (DPH) by calling 617-983-6800.
More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.