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Volume 8, 2 June - July 2009


The Buzz is a semi-monthly summary used to disseminate important information about mosquitoes and mosquito control in the City of Portsmouth. Above average rain fall for the month of June has made for an extremely busy month. Mosquito activity remains high as adult mosquito populations are elevated and neighboring jurisdictions have reported finding mosquito viruses. Portsmouth mosquito control efforts are currently at maximum capacity.

Surveillance and Control

  • Larval surveillance efforts consisting of breeding site inspections were temporarily suspended in early June when all sites inspected were actively breeding mosquitoes in large numbers. At that point our efforts were directed to aggressively treating standing water for mosquitoes. As of the first of July we have started to regularly check storm drains for mosquito breeding. Treatment of over 8,000 storm drains will begin some time in July. Based on current staffing levels it will take us 1 full month to treat all storm drains.

  • Mosquito trapping efforts have shown increasing numbers of adult mosquitoes all over the city. The number of different mosquito species has also been above normal. No mosquito samples have been sent for virus testing at this time; plans are in the works to start testing mosquitoes some time in July.

  • The crew has been out spraying for adult mosquitoes the past several weeks. As of July 2ndwe should complete the second round of spraying the entire city prior to the 4th of July holiday weekend. Will continue to monitor adult populations and treat as need. For information about spray activities call 393-8666 and press 1 when prompted.

Service Requests

  • Mosquito complaint calls are coming in at a steady rate. Citizens can log a mosquito complaint by calling 393-8666. Citizens must leave a valid city address, phone number, and name to be counted.

  • Common complaints this year include:

    What can be done about the ticks?

  • The city does not treat for ticks. Tick control is the responsibility of the property owners. There are two main things property owners can do; they can contact a private pest control company and have them treat their property, or residents can purchase products for home use at most of the local hardware stores. Several products are available that attach to a garden hose, these products are quick and easy to use and do not re- quire any complicated mixing. When residents choose to treat their own property they must read, understand, and follow the label on the product.

    I saw the spray truck last night and they were driving too fast and nothing was coming out.

  • Our trucks spray about 1 /2 ounce of pesticide per acre (or 1 /2 of shot glass). The average size droplet needed to kill a mosquito is so small it can not be see with out using a microscope. All of the mosquito spray trucks are calibrated to spray between 3 and 22 des per hour. If the driver exceeds 22 miles per hour the sprayer shuts off and an alarm goes off inside the truck. Speed rates are verified by radar and GPS mounted on each individual spray truck. The equipment logs various parameters of the vehicle and sprayer during each spray route. The data are review regularly to ensure proper applications of pesticide.

Air Force Aerial Spray Scheduled for July 6,7,8

  • We just received word that the Air Force will be in town spraying for mosquitoes next week The only areas in Portsmouth that will be sprayed are north of Interstate 164 (Western Freeway), however the plane will likely fly directly over other parts of the city while making turns.

  • The date Portsmouth will be sprayed will not be set until early next week. Check the newspaper, city web site, and mosquito hotline for further updates as they become available.


City of Portsmouth, Virginia · All Rights Reserved · Portsmouth City Hall · 801 Crawford Street · Portsmouth, VA 23704 · 757-393-8000