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Volume 8, 3 July - August 2009


The Buzz is a semi-monthly summary used to disseminate important information about mosquitoes and mosquito control in the City of Portsmouth. Above average rain fall for the month of June has made for an extremely busy month. Mosquito activity remains high as adult mosquito populations are elevated and neighboring jurisdictions have reported finding mosquito viruses. Portsmouth mosquito control efforts are currently at maximum capacity.

Surveillance and Control

  • Most larval surveillance has been temporarily suspended. All efforts have been directed towards treating catch basins. Approximately 5,500 catch basins have been treated to date, the remaining 3,000 will be treated over the next few weeks.

  • Mosquito trapping efforts have shown decreasing numbers of adult mosquitoes all over the city. The number of different mosquito species has also decreased to normal levels. One sample of mosquitoes tested positive for Easter Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in late July. The positive test confirms the presence of EEE in the city limits. There is a vaccine to protect horses, but not for humans. The Portsmouth Health Department recommends the following tips to reduce exposure to mosquitoes:

    • Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing.

    • Make sure window and door screens in your home are functional and in place.

    • Use insect repellent products registered with the Environmental Protection Agency such as products containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. When using a product containing DEET, no more than 50 percent DEET should be used for adults and less than 30 percent should be used for children. Follow instructions when using insect repellents.

    • Turn over, drain, or remove containers in your yard where water collects, such as old tires, potted plant trays, buckets and toys.

    • Fill in or drain root-ball holes (from downed trees) or any depression that holds water for more than a week.

    • Eliminate standing water on tarps or flat roofs, and in boats.

    • Clean out birdbaths and wading pools once a week.

    • Clean roof gutters and downspout screens regularly.

For additional, please call or visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website at www.vdh.virginia.gov.

  • Mosquito spray activities are scheduled based on trap counts. For information about spray activities call 393-8666 and press 1 when prompted.

Service Requests

  • Mosquito complaint calls are coming in at a steady rate. Citizens can log a mosquito complaint by calling 393-8666. Citizens must leave a valid city address, phone number, and name to be counted.


City of Portsmouth, Virginia · All Rights Reserved · Portsmouth City Hall · 801 Crawford Street · Portsmouth, VA 23704 · 757-393-8000