Mosquito Surveillance and Control

Information and resources regarding mosquito surveillance and control, and the diseases spread by mosquitoes

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV) is spread to humans by the bite of a mosquito with the infection. When a mosquito bites a bird with the infection, the mosquito becomes infected. The mosquito, which now has the infection, could then spread the infection to a human it bites. Mosquitoes are most active from June to October.

Response Plans and Funding for Mosquito Control

Many variables affect a town's mosquito surveillance and control. Features such as land area, number/size of mosquito breeding areas, number of catch basins (areas where rainwater collects from streets), and road mileage (for towns considering town-wide road adulticiding) are factored into price estimates from mosquito control contractors. Typically, communities are urged to invest in both mosquito surveillance and control to provide the most effective prevention and control plan.

Developing Surveillance and Response Plans

Mosquito surveillance and control are fundamental components of any response plan aimed at preventing mosquito-borne diseases, such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus (WNV).

Mosquito surveillance includes:

  • Targeted mosquito trapping,

  • Species identification, and

  • Testing of mosquitoes for EEE and WNV.

Mosquito control includes:

  • Source reduce habitats where mosquito breed (i.e., draining standing water and removing objects that hold water),

  • Chemical control through the correct use of larvicides and adulticides (chemicals aimed at killing mosquito larvae and adults), and

  • Adulticiding may be performed as "spot spraying", targeting specific high-activity areas, or road spraying, where a more extensive area is covered.

Economic and Budget Considerations

In order to give communities a sense of the cost of local mosquito control, below is  a series of estimates for varying community sizes and levels of response based on prior years' experience.

It is important to remember that these are only estimates and each community's particular needs and situations will results in different price estimates.

  • Small rural towns that have fewer than 1,000 catch basins and do not have salt marshes may spend between $25,000-$35,000 for annual mosquito surveillance and control (larvicide and spot adulticide). Control only may cost between $10,000 -$20,000.

  • Large towns that have between 2,000 to 5,000 catch basins and salt marshes or extensive wetlands may spend between $55,000-$105,000 for annual mosquito surveillance and control (larvicide and spot adulticide). Control only may cost between $40,000-$90,000. Town-wide road spraying will add approximately $25,000-$35,000 per year.

  • Cities that have over 5,000 catch basins and freshwater swamps may spend between $84,000-$114,000 for annual mosquito surveillance and control (larvicide and spot adulticide). Control only may cost between $70,000-$100,000. Town-wide road spraying will add approximately $20,000-$30,000 per treatment.

Application of Chemical Pesticides

New Hampshire State law requires people applying chemical pesticides, other than homeowners on their own property, hold licenses issued by the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food.

Communities wishing to invest mosquito surveillance and/or control should contact a NH licensed contractor. There are several contractors licensed in NH for pesticide application, including:

Dragon Mosquito Control, Inc.
PO Box 46
Stratham, NH 03885
(603) 734-4144

Municipal Pest Management Services, Inc.
PO Box 316
York, ME 03909
(603) 431-0008

Interested communities can contact the NH Department of Agriculture, Division of Pesticide Control at 603-271-3550 for a complete list of all licensed contractors in NH and to receive an application for pesticide application.

Transmission of EEE and WNV

Transmission of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV) occur through mosquito bites.

Birds bitten by mosquitos with the infection can carry these viruses.

Mosquitoes feeding on birds with the infection can spread these viruses to other birds, mammals (e.g., horses, alpacas), or humans.

Preventing mosquito bites and reducing mosquito populations by mosquito control methods are important in reducing the spread of EEE and WNV.

Resources to Protect Yourself and Your Family

Fact Sheets

Additional Materials

Mosquito Quick Facts

  • Mosquitoes need water to breed.

  • Only the female can bite.

  • Mosquito wings beat 300 to 600 times per second.

  • Mosquitoes fly about 1 to 1.5 miles per hour.

  • Mosquitoes can smell humans from 60 feet away.

  • Repellents can offer protection against mosquito bites.

  • There are more than 40 species of mosquitoes in New Hampshire.

    • Only a small number of these are important in carrying and spreading EEE and WNV.

Contact Information