The Mosquito Control Section within DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife this weekend will launch its annual campaign to protect Delawareans and First State visitors from biting mosquitoes. The Mosquito Control Section’s first “Fight the Bite” mission for 2020 is the spraying of spring woodland pools to control aquatic immature mosquitoes starting Saturday, March 14, weather permitting. Spring spraying will begin in southern Sussex County and expand into Kent and New Castle counties over the next several weeks.

Up to 10,000 acres of wet woodlands near select populated areas will be treated by helicopter using the bacterially-derived insecticide Bti, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined poses no unreasonable risks to human health, wildlife or the environment when applied in accordance with product label instructions as required by federal law, officials noted.

Control of the larval stage of early-season woodland pool mosquitoes limits the emergence of biting adult mosquitoes later in the spring that can affect quality of life and human health within a few miles of their woodland pool origins, they emphasized.

The spring woodland mosquito larvae spraying campaign marks the beginning of Delaware’s annual mosquito control season, which in most years continues until late October or early November. Control activities will be expanded starting in late April to larval and adult saltmarsh mosquitoes, other freshwater mosquitoes, and urban and suburban container-breeding mosquitoes.

Mosquito spray announcements about the locations and times of scheduled spraying can be received by email, text or phone notification by subscribing to Mosquito Control’s Spray Zone Notification System at http://de.gov/mosquitospray. Spray information is also available by calling toll-free at 1-800-338-8181.

To request localized mosquito control service, call the Mosquito Control Section’s field offices. Sussex County residents can call the Milford office at (302) 422-1512. For more information about Delaware’s Mosquito Control program, call (302) 739-9917.