Overview

The recent incidents across the nation and the South involving the West Nile Virus have raised concern by many people regarding steps local governments might take to control mosquitoes in their areas since mosquitoes are the primary transporters of the virus.

Mosquito Control Approaches

There are generally three approaches to controlling mosquitoes.

The first involves the use of EPA approved insecticides containing chemicals such as Permethrin or Resmethrin for fogging and killing the adult, flying mosquitoes.

The second involves the use of approved larvacides to kill mosquito larvae or eggs that may be present in standing water, which is where mosquitoes lay their eggs and larvae form.

Several cities in Tennessee do nothing other than to advise residents to check their property every 3 to 4 days to eliminate any standing water, no matter how large or small the amount, and to avoid being outdoors in the early morning and evening hours when mosquitoes are at their peak presence.

Spraying / Fogging Program
In an effort to combat these pests, the city of Lebanon has implemented a spraying or fogging program. The fogging works by killing the adult mosquitoes on contact. This program was started in 2004 and entails the spraying of residential streets several times during the “mosquito season”, typically mid May to mid October. The city does not treat bodies of standing water located on private property. Check the local paper for a schedule of fogging in your area.

Fogging Process

It should be noted that the fogging process generally only covers a 100 feet wide area along the right-of-way and does not provide any concentrated coverage into residential back yards, the area most prone for harboring mosquitoes. Homeowners may choose to purchase portable fogging units and/or apply larvacides to address mosquito problems in their backyards. A check with local stores shows that portable electric or propane operated fogging units and fogging chemicals, aerosol foggers and mosquito larvacides are available at various local retailers.