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Routine Mosquito Control activity to begin May 30

State Agencies Urge Public Cooperation in Fight Against Zika Virus

Maryland’s Mosquito Control program utilizes a variety of methods to control adult mosquito populations. This includes trapping, larviciding (pictured), adulticiding, and truck-mounted ULV spraying. (Credit: Edwin Remsberg)

ANNAPOLIS, MD – As mosquito season gets underway, the Maryland Department of Agriculture and Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene urge residents to work with the agencies in preventing Zika virus and other mosquito-borne disease in Maryland. The department’s Mosquito Control program will be active in communities throughout the state conducting surveillance and a variety of control measures to manage mosquito populations.

“Zika virus continues to be a major public health concern, and we remain vigilant in our efforts to fight the disease here in Maryland,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “I urge all Marylanders to cooperate with state officials in the event of a Zika response.”

The department’s Mosquito Control program will work closely with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and local health departments in response to Zika virus. The department will respond to any instance where there is concern over local transmission—this could include a confirmed human case of Zika, or high levels of mosquito activity.

Once health officials have determined a need for a response, mosquito control personnel will survey the affected area to eliminate potential breeding zones and determine if there is a need for further treatment. If there are enough adult mosquitoes present in the area, personnel will use backpack sprayers to apply Talstar P Professional—a bifenthrin-based adulticide–onto foliage where mosquitoes rest in order to control adult mosquito populations.

The backpack sprayers will replace the truck-mounted ULV foggers used in last year’s response. The backpack sprayers were used last year, but this year they will have a more prominent role in the program.  After a review of last year’s protocols, the state has determined that backpack spraying is a more targeted, efficient method of adulticiding for Aedes mosquitoes.

In addition to its role in the state’s Zika virus response, the department’s Mosquito Control program will resume its regular activities; including arboviral surveillance and testing, mosquito population surveillance activities, source reduction, biological control initiatives, ground and aerial application of insecticides, and public education.  The program will also resume its routine truck-based ULV fogging program in participating communities. Visit the program’s website for more info.

As of May 24, there have been 198 cases of Zika virus in Maryland dating back to late 2015—all associated with travel to areas where the disease has been actively transmitted. The disease has not been transmitted by mosquitoes in Maryland; however, that may change as the Aedes mosquitoes become active in warmer weather, usually around the beginning of May.

More information on Zika virus is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

For more information on mosquito control and Zika prevention, visit the department’s website: mda.maryland.gov/zika.

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Contact Information

If you have any questions, need additional information or would like to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jason Schellhardt
Director of Communications
Telephone: 410-841-5888

Megan Guilfoyle
Public Information Officer
Telephone: 410-841-5889

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