Mosquito Control Methods
To protect the health and welfare of our citizens from potential mosquito borne diseases and nuisance mosquitoes an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program is utilized.
York County is proud to employ three ditch maintenance crews, each comprised of four workmen. The crews aim to clear every County maintained ditch at least twice per year. Ditch maintenance work is difficult and is all done manually using hand operated equipment. Over 100 miles of ditches are manually cleared every year. The ditch crews are also instrumental in debris clean-up and removal in the event of a large storm event. The ditch crews both help reduce the amount of standing water for mosquitoes, but also help keep areas of the County from flooding.
York County is committed to using natural control methods to reduce reliance on pesticide spraying for mosquitoes. We've implemented a fish management program by stocking Gambusia holbrooki, aka "mosquito fish," in artificial impoundments, ornamental ponds, stormwater retention ponds, and other places where mosquitoes breed.
This tiny fish devours mosquito larvae, reducing the numbers of adult mosquitoes. Gambusia holbrooki are considered native to this region and are commonly found in tidal areas and streams. They are related to guppies, and like guppies they bear live young. They are a hardy fish able to tolerate winter, over-crowding, and poor water quality.
Request Mosquito Fish
If you reside in York County and are interested in adding mosquito fish to your ornamental pond any other area of permanent standing water, contact us at 757-890-3790 for an evaluation. Mosquito fish are provided free of charge.
If you reside outside of our jurisdiction, please contact your local mosquito control, extension agent, or Virginia Game and Inland fisheries for further information.
York County has 43,000 acres of water, encompassing woodland pools and marshes coupled with many miles of drainage ditches that enable mosquito breeding. Temporary bodies of water like low depressions in woods and fields, ditches, and woodland pools usually, have no natural predators for mosquito control. Mosquito control uses our extensive GIS mapping system to monitor areas of known areas of standing water for the purpose of larval control. Stormwater drainage crews also monitor and report sightings of larvae to mosquito control for larvicide treatment.
Under the proper conditions mosquito populations can increase greatly. If weather reports are calling for heavy rain, Mosquito Control typically goes out and pretreats areas known to be problematic for mosquitoes. Other areas are inspected after the rainfall to determine what course of action should be taken. It is most effective to treat for mosquitoes in the larval stage when they are confined to sources of water compared to when they are flying around as adults.
Natural Mosquito Control Products Available to Citizens
Mosquito dunks are provided to York County citizens free of charge and can be picked up at the Waste Management Center located at 145 Goodwin Neck Road, York Library and Tabb Library. The dunks use a bacteria mosquito larva ingest that will kill them. The bacteria is mosquito specific and is harmless to other creatures. Each dunk treats 100 sq. ft. and lasts 30 days. A single dunk can be broken up and treat smaller areas.
If mosquito populations continue to rise, surveillance trap counts are high, and/or Mosquito Control receives calls from citizens about mosquitoes spray trucks are dispatched in the evening when weather permits. Adulticiding is the use of pesticide to control adult mosquitoes. Ground spray trucks will run Tuesday through Friday between 12 a.m.- 6 a.m.
If you wish to exclude your property from ground spraying, please complete the Mosquito Spray Avoidance Request form.
During the spray season, typically May through October, spray information will be posted on our website. Please call Mosquito Control at 757-890-3790 with any questions.
When a serious mosquito infestation is imminent, such as after a hurricane, arrangements may be made for an aerial spray flight. An aerial spray flight is unlikely to occur in York County and the last one was more than 10 years ago. Langley Air Force Base does still use aerial flights and you may see the plane overhead turning around over the County for its flight path.
All applications are undertaken by licensed personnel using only EPA registered insecticides.