CHESAPEAKE -- The Chesapeake Mosquito Control Commission will begin aerial spraying Wednesday, April 9, to decrease the population of larval mosquitoes.

Residents can expect to see a low-flying helicopter from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. for about 12 days.

If the weather is not favorable, it will be rescheduled for the next day.

The aerial spraying efforts are aimed at freshwater woodland, flood-pool, swamp, and open field-breeding mosquitoes and will have little effect on backyard container-breeding species.

Officials say bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), and the insect growth regulator methoprene will be applied to larval habitats to prevent the emergence of adult mosquitoes.

This larvicide mixture is a liquid material and is specific to mosquito larvae. This larvicide is not toxic to bees, butterflies or dragonflies. The chemical does not pose a risk to humans, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control.

Residents may notice the helicopter in areas near wooded and open field portions of the city, including:

  • Areas adjacent to the northeast corner of the Great Dismal Swamp.
  • Along the Chesapeake and Albemarle Canal.
  • Along Route 17 and east along the Northwest River basin to the Route 168 Bypass.
  • Areas south of Elbow Road and south of Pocaty Road.

Homeowners should follow the following tips to eliminate sources of standing water from their yards which could serve as mosquito breeding areas:

  • Discard old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles or any water holding containers in and around the property.
  • Fill in or drain any low places (puddles, ruts) in your yard.
  • Keep drains, ditches and culverts clean of weeds and trash so water will drain properly.
  • Cover trash containers to keep out rainwater.
  • Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets to prevent puddles of standing water.
  • Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store them indoors when not in use.
  • Make sure your backyard pool is properly cared for while you are on vacation.
  • Fill in tree root holes and hollow stumps that hold water with sand or concrete.
  • Change the water in bird baths and plant pots or drip trays at least once a week.
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