The City of St. Peters’ integrated approach to mosquito abatement includes public education, larviciding, adulticiding and natural control. Each year, City staff evaluates products to see which are the most effective at controlling mosquitoes with the lowest environmental impact.
Larviciding is a method of preventing mosquito larvae or pupae from emerging from water as adults. The City uses a number of products that are OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) listed. City Health staff checks bodies of water for evidence of breeding prior to treatment with the most appropriate product.
One item, Natular DT, is individually labeled and available for residents to purchase. A property inspection may be required. For more information, call 636-970-1456.
Adulticiding, or killing adult mosquitoes, is accomplished with an ultra-low volume sprayer, operated by public health specialists licensed by the Missouri Department of Agriculture. The sprayer is electric and durable, allowing the City to be more earth-friendly and efficient with products, through variable flow with GPS sensing.
All areas of the City are sprayed on a regular basis. The City schedules spraying in parks and on trails for most Fridays and occasionally for special events.
BACK TO THE TOP
Natural Mosquito Control
Natural control efforts are useful when possible. Bats, purple martins and some fish (goldfish, for example) eat mosquitoes, so the City installs bat and purple martin houses in parks and public grounds and occasionally stocks mosquito-consuming fish in ponds and wet storm water basins. The City also enforces weed cutting on vacant ground to minimize mosquito hiding and resting places.
BACK TO THE TOP
How Residents Can Help
Mosquitoes can develop from eggs to adults in as little as seven days and very little water is needed to become a home to mosquito eggs—even a tray under a flowerpot can hatch mosquitoes. Therefore, it’s important to actively remove standing water from your property.
1. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, or trash containers. Check inside and outside your home.
2. Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so that mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs.
3. For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
Mosquitoes May Carry Viruses
Aside from being itchy and annoying, the bite of an infected female mosquito can spread viruses such as West Nile, dengue, chikungunya, or Zika. People may become infected after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Different types of mosquitoes bite during different times of the day and/or night. Since there are no vaccines or medications to prevent or treat these viruses, the best thing to do is prevent transmission. Some prevention tips follow:
Keep mosquitoes out of your home:
Prevent mosquito bites:
- Use screens on windows and doors.
- Repair holes in screens.
- Use air conditioning when available.
Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. When used as directed, these repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Always follow product label instructions and reapply as directed.
Outdoor workers may need to use sunscreen in conjunction with insect repellent. Repellents that are applied according to label instructions may be used with sunscreen with no reduction in repellent activity. However, limited data show a one-third decrease in the sun protection factor (SPF) of sunscreens when DEET-containing insect repellents are used after a sunscreen is applied. Products that combine sunscreen and repellent are not recommended, because sunscreen may need to be reapplied more often and in larger amounts than needed for the repellent component to provide protection from biting insects. The best option is to use separate products, applying sunscreen first and then applying the repellent. Due to the decrease in SPF when using a DEET-containing insect repellent after applying sunscreen, users may need to reapply the sunscreen more frequently.
BACK TO THE TOP