New Hanover County’s coastal environment and mild climate allow for the rapid development of mosquitoes from March through November. While mosquitoes cannot be completely eliminated, it is important to control mosquitoes because they are a known disease “vector,” meaning they can transmit some diseases to humans. Even mosquitoes that do not transmit disease can be a nuisance in their biting behavior and, in severe instances, can be detrimental to the county’s quality of life.
New Hanover County Mosquito Control uses a variety of prevention and control methods to reduce mosquito populations, including mosquito prevention education, larviciding to target larvae and breeding sites, and ultra-low volume mosquito spraying with EPA-registered pesticide. Learn more in the panels below and in the Board of Health’s Mosquito Control Policy.
View the most recent mosquito spray map and schedule, which is based on mosquito trap counts, weather, and other data, and may be cancelled or changed. Spraying takes place in the evening and is weather permitting.
There are 29 spay zones in New Hanover County; to find out which spray zone you are located in, check the spray zones map.
Spraying occurs from a Mosquito Control truck like the one pictured below.
New Hanover County has an automated notification system that sends text messages, emails, and/or phone calls to announce mosquito spraying in your area. Alerts are typically sent on the day of spraying.
Sign up for automated alerts about mosquito spraying in your area at NHC’s Alert Sign Up and check the box that says Health Alert (e.g. mosquito spraying) under “Additional Notifications You Wish to Receive.”
It is not possible to eliminate all breeding sites and prevent the natural migration of mosquitoes, therefore ultra-low volume (ULV) spraying is sometimes necessary to keep populations under control and prevent the potential diseases transmitted through mosquito bites.
Mosquito Control staff determine where to spray based on mosquito species and counts, and other data collected from mosquito light traps, like the one shown below.
NHC Mosquito Control uses Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered Permanone 30-30 for spraying. The pesticide passed rigorous safety tests and is not harmful to human health or the environment when used according to the label.
Permanone 30-30 uses the same active ingredient as topical scabies and head lice prescription medications, and is labeled for mosquito control use in residential and recreational areas. As a precaution, you can go inside for 30 minutes when you see a mosquito control truck.
Specific questions concerning pesticides can be directed to the EPA, the agency responsible for the registration of pesticides.
Additionally, the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) provides information about the impact of pesticide use on human health. The NPIC can also be reached at 1-800-858-7378.
The CDC recommends using repellants that contain active ingredients registered with the EPA. EPA registration means that the EPA does not expect the product to cause adverse effects to human health or the environment when used according to the label.
Of the products registered with the EPA, those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, and 2-undecanone products provide longer-lasting protection.
Products containing all-natural ingredients, such as peppermint, thyme, eucalyptus, and garlic, do not require EPA registration and have not been evaluated by the EPA for their effectiveness as mosquito repellents.
Bees are responsible for maintaining natural plant communities and ensuring production of seeds in most flowering plants. Without bees transferring pollen from one flower to another for fertilization, crops and plants would not be able to grow or bear fruit. New Hanover County Mosquito Control understands the vital role that bees play in our ecosystem and is happy to work with beekeepers to help protect their hives.
NHC Mosquito Control takes protecting beehives very seriously and works with local beekeepers to address concerns about mosquito spraying in their area. Beekeepers may submit a Spray Exclusion Form to request a “no spray” buffer zone of approximately 300 feet around their property. When arriving at no spray zone, Mosquito Control will turn off the truck-mounted sprayers and will not turn them back on until the property has been passed. Don’t be alarmed if you still hear the motor running while the spray is off.
NHC Mosquito Control may also change spray routes to accommodate “no spray” areas. Typically, mosquito spraying takes place in the evening hours when bees have returned to their hives. However, there may be some situations when bees are still foraging in the target area when spraying begins. If this happens, Mosquito Control will make an effort to plan spray routes with “no spray” zones at the end of the route to ensure bees are in their hives by the time the truck arrives at their location.
The spray used by NHC Mosquito Control is not expected to have any residual effects that would affect bee foraging the following day. The chemicals used for mosquito spraying are applied using ultra low volume (ULV) methods, which translates to very small quantities of chemicals used per acre. The small spray droplets breakdown with UV exposure, degrade rapidly, and are only effective in targeting mosquitoes while the droplets remain airborne.
Additionally, NHC Mosquito Control only sprays on roadways, decreasing the total area where the spray reaches and limiting any residual effects.
Larvicides are products that target mosquito larvae and pupae in the water before they emerge as adults. When used according to product label instructions, larvicides do not harm people, pets, or the environment.
Mosquito Control staff identify the species and maturity of the mosquitoes before choosing the most effective larvicide treatment for specific breeding sites. Mosquito fish, natural predators of mosquito larvae, are also used to eliminate mosquitoes before they mature into biting adults. Mosquito Control uses the larvicides below to treat larvae and breeding sites.
|Altosid Liquid Larvicide SR-5||Label||SDS|
|Altosid XR-150 day Briquets||Label||SDS|
|Altosid-30 day Briquets||Label||SDS|
|Bacillis thuringiensis israelensis (Bti)||Label||SDS|
|BVA 2 Larvicide Oil||Label||SDS|
|Natular DT Residential Blister Pack (ZKit)||Label||SDS|
NHC Mosquito Control uses Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered Permanone 30-30 for spraying. Permanone 30-30 uses the same active ingredient as topical scabies and head lice prescription medications, and is labeled for mosquito control use in residential and recreational areas. The pesticide is applied using ultra-low volume sprayers; the small, low volume pesticide droplets degrade rapidly, leaving little or no residue.
The additional pesticides below may be used in rare cases where a type of treatment other than Permanone 30-30 is needed.
|Permanone 30-30 (primary)||Label||SDS|
|Tempo SC Ultra||Label||SDS|
Mosquito Control collects data from mosquito traps and conducts site assessments across the county to determine where mosquitoes are coming from and how to treat them most effectively based on the species and number of mosquitoes in an area. This helps reduce the amount of pesticides being used and minimizes impact to the environment.
If it is determined that spraying is necessary to control mosquitoes in a specific area, Mosquito Control notifies the public through the Public Health website and the county’s automated notification system.
When spraying for mosquitoes, NHC Mosquito Control:
Learn more in the Board of Health’s Mosquito Control Policy.
If you have a question or concern about mosquitoes, please complete this online form, or call New Hanover County Environmental Health at (910) 798-6667. Mosquito Control staff will contact you as soon as possible.
Mosquito Control will not spray individual properties, however a site evaluation will be conducted to determine what type of mosquitoes are present, how abundant they are, and where they may be coming from in order to determine how to treat them most effectively.
To have your property excluded from mosquito spraying, complete and submit a mosquito spray exclusion form. After submitting the form, Mosquito Control staff will call annually to verify your information is up to date. Mosquito spray exclusion forms must be resubmitted every five years.
Mosquitoes need water to complete their life cycle, so it is important to eliminate all sources of standing water including coolers, trash bins, toys, rain gutters and pipes, plant saucers, tarps, covered and uncovered boats, and bird baths. Any source of standing water, even as small as a bottle cap, can produce hundreds of mosquitoes.
Thinning shrubs and cutting down tall grass and weeds will also help reduce mosquitoes as they inhabit cool, shady areas to escape hot temperatures that can be deadly to mosquitoes.
New Hanover County Mosquito Control provides free larvicide tablets to the public while supplies last. Tablets are available at the Public Health administrative building located at 2029 S. 17th Street, or at Environmental Health located in the NHC Government Center at 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 140.
Larvicides may also be purchased at local home improvement stores or online. Mosquito Dunks® are safe for use around birds, wildlife, children, and pets. The active ingredient, Bti, is a bacterium that only affects the larvae of mosquitoes, black flies, and fungus gnats. Visit the EPA’s website for more information on Bti for mosquito control.
During the off season from November through April, Mosquito Control staff is available to provide presentations on mosquito control-related topics to local classes and community groups. These presentations teach residents what they can do to protect themselves and encourage citizens to be proactive in helping control mosquitoes in their area.
Please call (910) 798-6667 to request a presentation.
Although New Hanover County Vector Control focuses on the control of mosquitoes, staff can also offer advice for controlling rats and mice.
For questions or concerns about vectors other than mosquitoes, please contact the organizations below: