In the summer months, Village residents spend plenty of time enjoying the parks and paths throughout the Village. One of the most annoying pests we have in this area is the mosquito, which can make an otherwise enjoyable evening relaxing on the deck or playing outside with your children a challenge. Some tips for avoiding mosquito bites can be found at the following link: www.mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/Pages/tips_for_avoiding_mosquito_bites.aspx.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture, Mosquito Control Program, is responsible for mosquito control in the state, and the Montgomery Village Foundation has signed up for this voluntary program again for 2020. The program consists of larviciding (control of immature stages of the mosquito) and public education.
Mosquitoes are insects that develop through four life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Both male and female adult mosquitoes feed on plant nectar as a food source. Only female mosquitoes feed on blood as a protein source for egg development. In Maryland, there are 62 different species of mosquitoes with around 17 of those species having the greatest abundance and/or impact on human comfort, public health and economic growth. All of these species require stagnant water for breeding and larval development.
The Montgomery Village Foundation has partnered with the Mosquito Control Program since 2003. Technicians were given a map of areas in the Village that could be potential breeding spots for mosquitoes. Every year there is monitoring of these known sites on a three week rotation, and if necessary a larviciding treatment is done according to presence or absence of larvae.
Since this program doesn’t take into account private homeowner property, here are some tips for reducing the breeding spots for mosquitoes in your own backyard.
- Clean rain gutters to allow water to flow freely.
- Remove old tires or drill drainage holes in tires used for playground equipment.
- Store plastic wading pools inside or turn them upside down when not in use.
- Turn over or remove clay pots and plastic containers.
- Dispose of all empty beverage containers, plastic wrappers, discarded toys, etc.
- Check for trapped water in plastic or canvas tarps used to cover boats, pools, etc. Arrange the tarp to drain the water.
- Pump out bilges in boats. Turn canoes and small boats upside down for storage.
- Replace water in bird baths at least twice a week.
- Remove pet food and water dishes that are not being used.
- Flush livestock water troughs twice a week.
- Don't leave garbage can lids lying upside down. Be sure water does not collect in the bottom of garbage cans.
- Flush water in the bottom of plant holders twice a week.
- Fix dripping outside water faucets.
- Turn wheelbarrows upside down when stored outside.
- Check around construction sites or do-it-yourself improvements to ensure that proper backfilling and grading prevent drainage problems.
- Check ornamental ponds, tree holes and water-holding low areas for mosquito larvae. Call the nearest Mosquito Control Office (see below) if you find, or suspect, mosquito larvae are present.
- If ditches do not flow and contain stagnant water for one week or longer, they can produce large numbers of mosquitoes. Report such conditions to a Mosquito Control Office. Do not attempt to clear these ditches because they may be protected by wetland regulations.
Contact: Mosquito Control Section of the Maryland Department of Agriculture nearest you for additional assistance and advice.
Maryland Department of Agriculture Mosquito Control Offices Annapolis (Headquarters) 410-841-5870
Central & Western Maryland 301-927-8357
Eastern Maryland 410-543-6626
Southern Maryland 301-373-4263
Additional mosquito control information can be found at https://mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/Pages/mosquito_control.aspx.