State of Maryland Mosquito Control Program
The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), through the Mosquito Control Program, performs all mosquito control activities in the state. The City participates in the Mosquito Control Program, which will begin this year on May 31 and continue through September 27. State mosquito control staff conduct adult mosquito surveillance and, if certain state-mandated thresholds are met, they will conduct spraying operations. Hyattsville's spraying days are Mondays. Out of an abundance of caution, residents are advised to stay indoors, close their windows, and bring in pets when spraying occurs.
In the event of an unscheduled spray, the Maryland Department of Agriculture will issue a public notice. All notices will be posted on the MDA website and on Twitter: @MdAgMosquito. The MDA also maintains a Mosquito Spray Alert Hotline: 410-841-5737. If you would like to receive notice of all unscheduled spraying, send an email request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporting a Problem Area
In order to prevent and monitor mosquito borne diseases, residents are still encouraged to report problem areas by using this form. Please try to complete as much of the form as possible.
Note - spraying is not effective against the Asian Tiger Mosquito (black with white legs and white stripe), which are prevalent in the City of Hyattsville. Community cleanups do control the pest when residents empty and/or rinse any containers where water can collect on a weekly basis, including tires, wading pools, wheelbarrows, canoes, tarps, flower pots, saucers, birdbaths, and gutters.
Filing an Exemption
You may request an exemption from adult mosquito control services on a yearly basis.
For additional questions and concerns, please call our Department of Public Works at (301) 985-5032.
Natural Mosquito Control
Dump, Dunk, and Screen: The best way to remove mosquito habitats from your yard!
Are there spots in your yard where water collects after it rains? Mosquitoes use standing water, either natural or in artificial containers, as places to lay their eggs. The most common mosquito in Hyattsville, the tiger mosquito, can lay its eggs in just a bottle cap of water. Tiger mosquitoes are poor flyers, so if you see them in your yard, they likely hatched nearby.
You can reduce the number of mosquitoes by dumping, dunking, or screening water in your yard:
- Dump: If a container holds water longer than a few days, dump or drain it.
- Dunk: If the water can’t be emptied, like a pond or ditch, put Bti Mosquito Dunks or Mosquito Bits in the water
- Screen: If drain pipes cannot be removed, screen them with stretchable nylon or mesh around the ends of the pipe to prevent hatched mosquitoes from escaping.
Removing breeding sites is highly effective in reducing mosquito populations, especially when combined with GAT mosquito traps.
Look out for these household sites to dump, dunk, or screen:
- Corrugated drainpipe and clogged gutters
- Flower pots, saucers, bins, lids, or containers
- Inflatable pools or kids toys
- Birdbaths and ornamental ponds
- Yard equipment, like wheelbarrows
- Folds in tarps or pool covers
Dump, dunk, and screen anything that holds a teaspoon of water for a week. Then, ask your neighbors to as well! Mosquito control works best as a community. Read how University Park, MD, implemented effective community-based mosquito control here.
Using Mosquito Dunks
What are mosquito dunks?
Mosquito dunks are a formulation of the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti). You can also find Bti in the form of mosquito bits. Mosquito dunks and mosquito bits are used to control mosquito populations. They are not toxic to people, pets, and even other insects such as bees.
How do mosquito dunks work?
You use mosquito dunks and bits by scattering them in standing water that cannot be removed from a given area. Each product is slightly different in use, but all work the same way. The Bti bacteria produce a toxin that kills mosquito larvae and fungus gnat larvae.
When a mosquito dunk or bit is put into water it begins to dissolve, which releases the bacteria and the mosquito toxin. Any mosquito larvae that hatch in the water will be killed by the Bti. This method of preventing mosquitoes from hatching is a more effective form of mosquito control than spraying for adult mosquitoes.
Mosquito dunks are made to be longer lasting and need to be replaced every 30 days or when you notice it sinking. Mosquito bits should be replaced more often, every 1-2 weeks. Generally, mosquito dunks are convenient for larger containers, and mosquito bits are more convenient for containers too small for the dunks, like planters.
Put mosquito dunks and bits in containers like these to prevent mosquitoes in your neighborhood.
Where can I get them?
Mosquito dunks and mosquito bits are sold at many plant nurseries, garden stores, and online retailers.
Make your own mosquito trap
Mosquito ovitraps are simple to make at home. Ovitraps mimic places where mosquitoes lay eggs. The most basic design is a container partially filled with water, baited with grass, and covered by a mesh screen. The female mosquitoes fly down to lay eggs, then fly away. When larvae hatch from the eggs they fall into the water in the container and are not able to fly back out through the mesh screen. No chemicals needed! You can make your own using household materials like cups, window screen, and duct tape.
GAT Traps, available at most major retailers, are simple devices that trap mosquito larvae and can significantly reduce your yard’s mosquito population.
View the webinar below to learn more about the traps:
Mosquito Control Virtual Education Sessions
Keep the bugs away! Watch virtual mosquito control education sessions from 2022 and 2023 for additional advice and guidance on controlling mosquito populations without using harmful chemicals.