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Mosquito Control

A comprehensive, integrated mosquito control program is needed to control mosquitoes that are vectors for diseases such as West Nile virus (WNV), Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), and Zika virus. Some resources for information on developing an integrated mosquito control program can be found at: local county public health department, local Cooperative Extension offices, NYS Department of Health, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (links leave DEC's webpage).

For information about the mosquito-borne diseases, including fact sheets and "question and answers", please visit the New York State Department of Health webpages for details on the WNV, EEE and Zika virus (links leave DEC's webpage).

For further information regarding the information on this page, please contact the NYSDEC Bureau of Pest Management at (518) 402-8788 or pestmgt@dec.ny.gov

New York State has recently released its 6-Step Zika Action Plan to limit the potential for an outbreak of the Zika virus. Reducing the number of mosquitoes that are vectors for the virus is an important first step.

Mosquitoes are aquatic insects; they spend part of their life cycle in water and therefore can be managed both as larvae in water and as adults in the air. The mosquito that transmits the Zika virus is primarily an aggressive daytime biter and lays its eggs in containerized water (i.e. buckets, animal dishes, flower pots, etc.), therefore, it is important to promote integrated pest management (IPM) measures, such as removing containers of standing water around the home and by wearing repellents. For information regarding insect repellents and to help find the right repellent for you, please visit the EPA insect repellent webpage (link leaves DEC webpage). For further information on how to eliminate mosquito habitats and how to further protect yourself, visit the NYS Department of Health webpage (link leaves DEC webpage).

Pesticide Products to Control Mosquitoes

ALL products used to control pests MUST be registered with the Department or are exempt from registration, and MUST be used in accordance with the product's label. Visit the NYS Pesticide Administration Database (NYSPAD) to look-up products, confirm registration status, download labels, etc. View a list of select pesticide products registered for use in NYS for mosquito control (PDF, 33 KB). (*note - this list is subject to change).

Pesticides used to control the larval stage of mosquitoes in waters of the State are registered restricted use by the DEC; they may only be purchased and used by certified pesticide applicators. However, there are general use larvicides (containing Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis or S-Methoprene), labeled only for use in containerized waters around the home, that can be purchased and used by homeowners.

For further details regarding common active ingredients used in mosquito control, including fact sheets, please visit the EPA webpage on Mosquito Control.

For questions regarding the use of pesticides, please contact your local DEC Regional Office.

For Commercial Application of Pesticides

Pesticide Business/Agency Registration

Any business location offering, advertising or providing the services of commercial application of pesticides for hire, either entirely or as part of the business, must register with the Department. Each agency (i.e. town, school district) that applies pesticides must also register with the Department. A definition of agency and other business registration requirements are contained in 6 NYCRR Part 325 (link leaves DEC's webpage). All businesses/agencies MUST employ an individual certified in at least one of the commercial pesticide categories listed below. Further information, including application and instructions, for a business/agency registration can be found on the Department's Business/Agency Pesticide Information webpage. A searchable database of currently registered pesticide businesses and agencies can be found on the New York State Pesticide Administration Database (NYSPAD) Portal.

Commercial Applicator Categories

The use of pesticides on property other than your own, requires commercial pesticide applicator certification issued by the DEC.

Please visit the Pesticide Applicator/Technician Certification webpage to view eligibility requirements, training, and exam information.

Pursuant to 6 NYCRR 325.16, categories 3A, 3B, 3C, 5B, 7A, 7F, 8, and 11 may apply pesticides for mosquito control as explained below:

  • Category 3A (Ornamental & Turf) may apply mosquito adulticides outdoors where the target of application is to grounds, trees or shrubs.
  • Category 3B (Turf) may apply mosquito adulticides to turf.
  • Category 3C (Interior Plant Maintenance) may apply mosquito adulticides to indoor plant foliage.

*NOTE - Ultra-low volume (ULV) is not allowed under Category 3. ULV is an application technique that targets the mosquito in the air, not the vegetation where mosquitoes may reside.

*NOTE - The application of mosquito adulticides to grounds, trees or shrubs, under Category 3, would be considered a commercial lawn application (CLA). For CLAs, the applicator must meet:

  1. CLA requirements of Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) Sections 33-1001 and 1003 and 6 NYCRR Part 325.40, regarding CLA contracts and visual notification markers.
  2. Neighbor notification requirements, if in a county/municipality with a local neighbor notification law, in 6 NYCRR Part 325.41 and the local law which parallels ECL Section 33-1004.
  • Category 5B (Aquatic Insect) may apply mosquito larvicides to water bodies of the State and any other waters. See "Pesticides Applied to Water" below for further information.
  • Category 7A (Structural) and 7F (Food Processing) may apply mosquito adulticides for the purposes of indoor pest control. The only permitted outdoor sites of application is the foundation and outside surface of the structure, and the vegetation immediately surrounding the structure, according to compliance measure II.A. in NYSDEC Program Policy DSH-PES-05-11. The outdoor application of mosquito adulticides under Category 7 to grounds, trees or shrubs, for the purposes of indoor pest control, is not considered a CLA.
  • Category 8 (Public Health) may apply mosquito adulticides and larvicides as part of or on behalf of a Federal, State or Local government public health mosquito control program, or as part of an independent nuisance mosquito control program, as described below:
    1. Category 8 may apply ULV aerosol or fog delivery of mosquito adulticides using ground or aerial equipment. The ULV aerosol or fog delivery of mosquito adulticides is intended to control adult mosquitoes in the air or in the areas around vegetation (not applied directly to grounds, trees or shrubs), therefore it is not considered a CLA.
    2. Category 8 may conduct a residual application of mosquito adulticides to grounds, trees or shrubs. The application to grounds, trees or shrubs as part of a public health program is done by or on behalf of a registered pesticide agency, so it does not meet the definition of a CLA. Although agencies are exempt from the CLA requirement, there is still a need to post within 100-feet of a dwelling, public building or public park. The application of adulticides to grounds, trees or shrubs by Category 8 applicators as part of a nuisance program however, would constitute a CLA so the applicator must meet the CLA requirements, including a Commercial Lawn Contract, as described above.
    3. Category 8 may apply larvicides to waters of the State and containerized water if doing so for or on behalf of a public health program. Category 8 applicators may apply larvicides to containerized water as part of a nuisance program but, the application of larvicides to waters of the State as part of a nuisance program would require Category 5B.
  • Category 11 (Aerial) may conduct aerial applications of mosquito adulticides/larvicides. Aerial applicators providing services associated with pest management (i.e. making recommendations), must obtain concurrent certification in the appropriate category.

Prior Label Notification Requirements

As per ECL 33-0905(5), prior to the application of a pesticide within or on the premises of a dwelling, the certified applicator shall provide the occupants with a copy of the information contained on the label, including any warnings. This information may be provided in either a written, digital or electronic form, which shall be determined by the recipients.

For aerial or community wide insect adulticide/larvicide applications, for nuisance or public health purposes, the DEC allows one of the following notification procedures as a means of compliance with ECL 33-0905:

  • Option 1 - Prior notice of the pesticide application(s) shall be provided by supplying the proposed application dates and copies of the information, including all warnings contained on the label(s) of the pesticide(s) to be applied, or an actual copy of the product(s) label to owners, owners agent, or the occupants of all buildings and structures on the premises of the pesticide application area. As per ECL 33-0905(5), this information may be provided in either a written, digital or electronic form, which shall be determined by the recipients.
  • Option 2 - Prior notice of the pesticide application(s) shall be provided by newspaper publication at least twice; once at least one week in advance of the proposed pesticide application and once during the application season. A publication that includes the following information will satisfy the notification obligations:
  1. A detailed statement describing the proposed application, the purpose of the application and the sponsor of the application;
  2. The product name, EPA product registration number(s), common chemical names of the pesticide(s) to be applied, and the EPA toxicity category of "danger", "warning" or "caution", for each pesticide to be applied;
  3. The proposed date(s) of the pesticide application;
  4. The target pest(s) of the application;
  5. A detailed description and/or map of the specific area(s) to be treated. Specific reference should be made to a map of the specific areas to be treated that is on file in a public office in the municipality where the application is to be conducted, as well as the hours during which the map is available for public viewing;
  6. The DEC's Regional office telephone number, the regional Poison Control Center telephone number, and the National Pesticide Telecommunications Network telephone number (1-800-858-PEST);
  7. The name, address, and telephone number of a contact person located at the project sponsor's place of business and the hours of availability of the contact person; a statement that the contact person will answer questions regarding the proposed pesticide application; a statement that inquiries concerning symptoms of pesticide poisoning for the pesticides of concern should be made to the regional Poison Control Center; and a statement that the sponsor will be advised of the specific pesticide application date on the calendar day prior to the proposed application and may be contacted to obtain that information.

Pesticides Applied to Water

Permits Required:
  • Aquatic Pesticide Permit - ECL Article 15 and Part 329 states that an Aquatic Pesticide Permit is required for the direct application of an aquatic pesticide to surface waters of the State of an acre or more in size. Aquatic permit applicants are required to use the Bureau of Pest Management application package "Application for a Permit to use a Pesticide for the Control of an Aquatic Pest" (PDF) (265 KB).
  • ECL Article 24/Part 663 Freshwater Wetland Permit and ECL Article 25/Part 661 Tidal Wetland Permit - Pesticide use and habitat modification activities are subject to wetland permits. With respect to pesticide use, these permits are often necessary regardless of whether an Article 15/Part 329 Aquatic Pesticide Permit is required. Habitat modification activities, such as water management or draining a wetland area, are also regulated activities subject to wetland permit requirements. Please visit the Freshwater Wetland Permit page and the Tidal Wetland Permit page for further information including applications.
  • State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit - This is a general permit for point source discharges from pesticide applications. This permit is required and will authorize coverage for point source discharges resulting from any application of a pesticide labeled for aquatic uses directly to, in, or over a surface water for New York. The SPDES General Permit is administered by the Division of Water here at the DEC.
  • Aquatic Pesticide Purchase Permit - Restricted use aquatic pesticides are available to homeowners for the treatment of a water body that lies entirely on the homeowner's property, does not have an outlet, and is less than one surface acre in size, who has applied to their DEC regional office and has been granted an Aquatic Pesticide Purchase Permit. The application and instructions can be found on the Aquatic Pesticide Purchase Permit webpage.

*NOTE - Homeowners can purchase general use (not restricted) larvicides for use in containerized water around the home and business without a permit.

Both the Aquatic Pesticide Permits and Aquatic Pesticide Purchase Permits should be submitted to the Regional Office that serves your county.
For further information, please visit the Aquatic Pesticides webpage.