This summer’s wet weather has created an attractive environment for mosquitoes. An abundance of standing water has led to an unusually high population in many parts of central Ohio. Control efforts are underway and ongoing.
Franklin County Public Health administers the mosquito management program, which includes trapping for mosquitoes and testing for West Nile Virus. No West Nile Virus has been found in Dublin so far this year.
Spraying is conducted when trap data results reveal an abnormally high number of mosquitoes in one particular area or if a mosquito tests positive for West Nile Virus.
Dublin has an extended contract with FCPH, which includes five traps throughout the community (north, south, east, west and central). Trap data is available on the FCPH website.
Franklin County’s services include larvaciding to kill immature insects before they develop into biting adults. The county also performs trapping and testing of adult mosquitoes, takes customer calls, performs spraying if necessary and provides information to the City about its activities. Spraying is only used as a last resort. This method eliminates only adult flying mosquitoes and is not as proactive as other methods.
Residents who have questions, want to report a complaint or need additional information about mosquitoes should call Franklin County Public Health’s Mosquito Bite Line at 614.525.BITE and leave a message; your call will be returned. Residents also can also visit www.myfcph.org to ask a question or submit a complaint. All Dublin residents should contact Franklin County, regardless of their county of residence.
While Franklin County’s tactics are effective, the best weapon against the spread of mosquitoes is knowledge.
Residents can prevent mosquitoes on their own properties by eliminating breeding sites:
- Empty, remove, cover or turn over any container that has the potential to hold water.
- Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets.
- Make sure gutters and downspouts are free of blockage and are properly draining.
- Change the water in wading pools weekly and store indoors when not in use.
- Properly dispose of old tires.
- Empty planters that hold water twice each week.
- Empty bird baths twice weekly.
- Empty your pets watering dishes daily.
- Use sand to plug holes in trees where water can collect.
- Drain or fill low areas on your property that hold water for more than three days.
- Remind or help neighbors to eliminate breeding sites on their property.
Did You Know…
- A single water-filled bucket can produce hundreds of biting mosquitoes.
- Most disease-causing mosquitoes spend their entire lives near their container-breeding site.
- While the adult mosquito’s life expectancy is not usually more than a few weeks, the female may lay several batches of eggs each containing several hundred eggs during its life.
What can you do?
Take a few minutes to go outside and look around your yard. Anything that holds water could be a potential breeding site for mosquitoes. It doesn’t take much water and it doesn’t take much time. Why raise mosquitoes in your own back yard? Dump those containers; turn them upside down; or better yet put them inside your garage or basement. It is such a simple, but very effective way, to protect your family from mosquito-borne diseases like encephalitis and West Nile virus.
Detailed information about the mosquito program and a form to request service or report an area of concern is available on the website. Visit www.myfcph.org or call Franklin County Public Health’s Mosquito Bite Line at 614.525.BITE (2483).
Why isn’t Dublin spraying more?
The City of Dublin has contracted with Franklin County Public Health for many years to provide mosquito management services. The program is based on science and revolves around disease prevention. Decisions to spray are made when a high number of mosquitoes are found in a trap or when West Nile virus is found in mosquitoes.
How can I request a service?
Residents can call 614.525.BITE (2483) or fill out a request form online. All requests are evaluated within a few days.
How can I request that my property not be sprayed?
FCPH maintains a Do Not Spray registry of residents who request a limited sprayer shut off with cause. FCPH will make a good faith effort to shut off truck mounted aerosol equipment within 150 feet of a registered property. You can fill out a Do Not Spray form online.
Is mosquito spraying harmful to other insects like bees?
FCPH takes various steps, including dose and timing, to protect non-target organisms.
Spraying involves extremely low application rates that involve a very small amount of product- enough to kill mosquitoes but not enough to kill larger insects like bees or dragonflies or butterflies.
As for timing, spraying usually starts around sunset, after bees, butterflies and other insects are no longer active. Also, the products used have a very short or no residual activity.
Another very critical factor that we control is droplet size. In our truck ULV applications, the equipment is checked to ensure the droplets are 20microns or smaller in size. What this does is greatly reduce the chance that large droplets of chemical settle onto the ground or vegetation where insects may be present.
The synthetic pyrethroid insecticides in the adult mosquito control program have a very short half-life and do not bioaccumulate in the soil or environment.
FCPH says many studies and trials across the country have shown that small insects the size of a mosquito are impacted during the sprays, but larger and daytime active species are not significantly affected.
In addition to the above-mentioned efforts, FCPH obtains a list of all currently registered apiaries in Franklin County from the Ohio Department of Agriculture and includes those in the Do Not Spray registry. If you have hives and want to ensure that the property is not treated with pesticide, you can fill out a Do Not Spray form online as a precautionary measure.
How can I avoid mosquito bites?
- Wear insect repellant containing DEET (follow package directions)
- Limit outdoor activity at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active
- Eliminate all standing water around your home (mosquitoes breed in water and it doesn’t take much)