Here's What You Should Know about Mosquito Fogging

May 20th, 2016

mosquito fogging There are many places in America where mosquitos are all too prevalent and eager to cause trouble. Most of these locations respond with planned and organized mosquito fogging to help keep the public safe and happy.

Background on Mosquitos

Mosquitos are small flying insects that bite skin and cause a red, itchy bump to form. They frequently bite not only humans, but dogs and horses as well. In total, 200 different species of mosquitos exist around the country, each of which has unique behaviors and preferences. While some like to lay their eggs in standing water, others prefer potted plant trays, buckets, and tree holes.

When a mosquito bites the skin of its host, the red, itchy bump is the least of the problems that might occur. Mosquitos can also spread diseases like malaria, dengue fever, West Nile virus, and Zika virus. These diseases severely hurt humans and can lead to death, birth defects, and other terrible outcomes.

The Use of Mosquito Fogging

Mosquito fogging is becoming a popular tactic for controlling mosquito populations in highly susceptible areas, for better or for worse. Though fogging can be helpful, its health effects are questionable.

In the Mohave Valley, for example, the public health department sets mosquito traps around populated areas and monitors the number of mosquitos being caught. If more than 300 mosquitos are found in one single trap, fogging must be done within a two square mile radius of the trap to improve the safety of that area. The mosquitos fogging is done by spraying a “fog” of chemicals that kills existing mosquitos and their eggs, and it lasts for a few hours.

Households in and near the fogging areas are warned to shut their windows and turn off the air conditioning during the time of the fogging. They are also advised to cover swimming pools, play equipment, outdoor furniture, and fish ponds to prevent exposure to the fog. The directions go so far as to remind homeowners to carefully wash all fruits and vegetables. It’s clear that the chemicals used in fogging carry a certain level of health risks, but it remains a debate as to whether the fogging is the better alternative to the potential spread of mosquito diseases.