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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

Home Mosquito Control

Mosquito Repellents

Reduce mosquito issues by remembering the "five Ds:"

  • Dusk and Dawn — avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Dress — wear long, loose, light-colored clothing that covers the skin.
  • DEET — use mosquito repellents that contain DEET. DEET is the most effective mosquito repellent
  • Drainage — eliminate standing water around the home in places such as buckets, cans, old tires and plant containers.

Bug zappers kill many kinds of insects, including moths and beetles. Mosquitoes make up a very small percentage of the insects killed by bug zappers. Bug zappers do more harm than good.

Mosquito Control

The key to reducing mosquito populations is to deny them a place to breed. There are many things citizens can do to encourage reduced mosquito populations around their homes. These include:
  • Remove trash and clutter. This includes discarded tires, buckets, tarps and any other items that could collect water. 
  • Minimize and eliminate standing water. Mosquitoes require water to breed. Removing water-holding containers like bird baths, kiddie pools, and pet water dishes, or turning them upside down, as well as ensuring trash can lids fit tightly, helps prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs. Do not let water sit at bottom of flower pots or in holes or tree stumps. 
  • Empty and change water. Keep water in containers that cannot be removed, such as bird baths and kiddie pools, fresh.
  • Regularly clean gutters. Clogged drains and gutters can create backup that breeds mosquitoes.
  • Repair screens on windows and doors. Make sure children know to keep screen doors closed to keep mosquitoes from entering buildings.
  • Maintain lawns. Cut weeds, mow lawns and water carefully to prevent standing water.

Additional Information

For more information on mosquitoes and mosquito control, view the External Links page.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will my neighborhood be sprayed for mosquitoes?

Spraying with trucks or with the city’s airplane is based on a variety of factors. Information is collected in order to make the best and most effective treatment decisions. Mosquito light traps are placed throughout Orleans Parish and mosquitoes are collected and identified. The New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board uses this surveillance data (species of mosquito and the number of mosquitoes collected), the presence of arboviruses such as West Nile virus combined with the number of citizen service requests to determine which areas to treat.  Factors also impacting the decision to spray include weather; spraying will not be conducted when temperatures are low, winds are high or when it’s raining.

Citizens experiencing mosquito problems can call 311 to request to have their yard inspected.

Can you send a mosquito truck to my house or neighborhood?

Citizens experiencing mosquito problems can call 311 to request to have their yard inspected, however, the Control Board does not spray based on a single citizen request. The Control Board uses a series of factors to determine where to spray, which include

  • Surveillance data (species of mosquito and the number of mosquitoes collected from mosquito light traps placed throughout Orleans Parish
  • The presence of arboviruses such as West Nile virus
  • The number of citizen service requests in a given area
  • Weather

I never see the mosquito trucks. Are you spraying?

Yes, the New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board currently conducts pesticide applications by truck and airplane. The ultra low volume (ULV) truck-mounted sprayers primarily spray at night in order to most effectively address the Southern House Mosquito, the primary West Nile virus vector. Trucks do not pass down every street when an area is treated because aerosolized particles drift up to 300 feet.  

Citizens experiencing mosquito problems may call 311 to arrange for a Board inspection of their lawns.

What happens if the Board inspects my yard/pool/pond and determines I have a mosquito issue?

Trained staff from the Board will visit the homes of citizens who call 311 to request to have yards, pools, or ponds inspected to determine if it needs to be treated for mosquitoes. If the Board determines treatment is needed, it will address the mosquito issue in one of the following ways:

  • add a larvicide briquette to pools that provides mosquito control for up to 3 months
  • add mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) or supply the citizen with around 50 mosquito fish to stock a swimming pool or pond.  Both of these methods can be effective at control mosquitoes but will not improve appearance of the pool.  

Can I get mosquito fish for my pond/pool from the Mosquito Board?

Yes. Call 311 to set up a pool inspection. If a pool needs treatment, the New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board offers several options:

  • add a larvicide briquette to the pool, which provides effective mosquito control for up to 3 months
  • add mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis)
  • supply citizen with approximately 50 mosquito fish to stock a swimming pool or pond.  

Both of the later two methods can be effective at mosquito control, but will not improve appearance of the pool.  

My neighbor/vacant house next to me has an unmaintained swimming pool/pond and its breeding mosquitoes. What can I do?

You can request to have the pool and your yard inspected by the New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board by calling 311.  If the pool or property has not already been reported to Code Enforcement, 311 may also complete that request.  It is important to note if the pool is easily accessible or behind a locked gate.

Discarded tires on an abandoned lot/neighbor’s property are holding water and breeding mosquitoes. What can I do?

An unauthorized waste tire pile is one with over 20 tires, the storage and/or disposal of which the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) has not authorized. Permitted Waste Tire Generators can store up to 150 tires at one time on site.

If the tires are in an open area and are allowed to hold water, they may breed mosquitoes, including the Southern House mosquito, the primary West Nile virus vector in our area.  Call 311 to request an inspection by the New Orleans Mosquito & Termite Control Board, who can treat the tires with a larvicide. 

Residents with City trash pickup can place up to 4 tires curbside for collection as part of bulky waste collection.  Residents can also bring up to 4 tires to the Santitation Department's Second Saturday Recycling Drop Off events. For more regarding tire disposal, call 311.

There is a water leak on my street, and I worry it may breed mosquitoes. What should I do?

Report all leaks immediately to the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board by calling 52-WATER (529-2837).  This hotline is available 24 hours a day. It is important to note if the leak involves sewerage.

Citizens can also request to have New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board inspect and treat standing water by calling 311. After conducting an inspection, New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board can apply a mosquito larvicide where needed, which can provide effective mosquito control for up to 3 months.  

If water is flowing quickly, mosquitoes may not be breeding. However, if water collects, especially in a grassy area, then it is likely to contain mosquito larvae, especially those of the Southern House mosquito, the primary West Nile virus vector in our area.   

Are larvicides safe to use with fish or around other animals?

Yes. The primary material used for larval control is Bacillus thurigiensis israelensis (Bti), a bacterial agent that acts specifically on mosquito and blackfly larvae and does not impact other animal and plant life. Bti is a naturally occurring bacteria and not a conventionally-synthesized chemical. 

What is 1-800-222-1222?

1-800-222-1222 is the telephone number for every poison center in the United States. This number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to talk to a poison expert, ask questions about a poison or about poison prevention, or call in the case of a poison emergency.

How does the Board reduce mosquito populations across New Orleans?

The Board (NOMTCB) conducts mosquito surveillance through weekly monitoring of different types of mosquito traps throughout the city. Gravid traps baited with a fish oil emulsion, collect the “southern house mosquito”, Culex quinquefasciatus, the local vector of West Nile virus. Collected mosquitoes are sorted into “pools” and submitted for virus testing at the Louisiana State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Baton Rouge, LA.

To control mosquitoes, NOMTCB applies larvicides to storm drains and standing water, engages in source reduction activities, and conducts aerial and truck adulticide applications as warranted. NOMTCB often goes door-to-door to educate residents about West Nile virus and has partnered with the Department of Sanitation to remove tires, Sewerage and Water Board inspectors to identify and treat water leaks and New Orleans Fire & Police Departments to conduct community outreach efforts. NOMTCB keeps the public informed of West Nile virus activity in Orleans Parish through press releases, television and radio interviews.

View more about the Board's methodology for controlling mosquitos here.

How can I avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes?

When in an area that has mosquitoes, avoid bites by limiting outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved repellants, and dressing in light, loose-fitting clothing. View additional information about repellant recommendations and application guidelines

How can I learn more about West Nile Virus?

The New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board (NOMTCB) conducts mosquito surveillance through weekly monitoring of different types of mosquito traps placed throughout the city. Gravid traps baited with a fish oil emulsion, collect the “southern house mosquito” (Culex quinquefasciatus) the local vector of West Nile virus. Collected mosquitoes are sorted into “pools” and submitted for virus testing at the Louisiana State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Baton Rouge.

To learn more about West Nile Virus, download the Board's West Nile Virus fact sheet here.

 
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Last updated: 11/5/2013 9:43:12 AM

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