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Adult Mosquito Control
Adult mosquito control may be undertaken to combat an outbreak of mosquito-borne disease or a very heavy nuisance infestation of mosquitoes in a community. Pesticides registered for this use are known as adulticides and are applied either by aircraft, or on the ground truck-mounted sprayers. State and local agencies commonly use the organophosphate insecticides malathion and naled and the synthetic pyrethroid insecticides permethrin, resmethrin, and sumithrin for adult mosquito control.
Mosquito adulticides are applied as ultra-low volume (ULV) sprays. ULV sprayers dispense very fine aerosol droplets that stay aloft and kill flying mosquitoes on contact. ULV applications involve small quantities of pesticide active ingredient in relation to the size of the area treated, typically less than three ounces per acre, which minimizes exposure and risks to people and the environment.
Adulticides can be used for public health mosquito control programs without posing unreasonable risks to the general population or to the environment when applied according to the pesticide label. For more information on pesticides that are commonly used in public health mosquito programs, see the specific fact sheets mentioned below.
(Click Pesticides for Mosquito Control for more information on chemicals that are used for controlling mosquitoes.)

Who Is Responsible for Controlling Mosquitoes?

Everyone has a stake and responsibility in controlling mosquitoes, including:
  • State and local agencies
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • The public.
State and Local Agencies
State and local government agencies play a critical role in controlling mosquitoes. They serve on the front line, providing information through their outreach programs to the medical and environmental surveillance networks that first identify possible outbreaks. They also manage the programs that carry out prevention, public education, and vector population management.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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