Mosquito Control Efforts Underway in Watertown, Ways You Can Stop Them

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The Watertown Health Department announced that treatments have started to try to limit the number of mosquitos in the area, but there are other steps that you can take.

The following information was provided by the Watertown Health Department:

Catchbasin Treatment

The Watertown Health Department announces that the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Program (EMMCP) has begun treating catchbasins throughout Watertown with a relatively non-toxic pesticide, Altosid, that kills mosquito larvae. Some species of mosquitoes will breed in catchbasins, and in other containers of water that may be found on private property. Eliminating mosquitoes in the larval stage will prevent hatching of mosquitoes that could become carriers of vector borne diseases such as West Nile Virus, which have been found to be detrimental to humans. Catchbasins that have been treated by the EMMCP will be marked with pink paint. For more information on this pesticide and the Mosquito Control Program, please visit their website at

Property Pesticide Exclusion

The Town does not conduct aerial spraying, however should a public health threat be determined, aerial spraying could be conducted with prior notification communicated to residents. Property owners may request an exemption from spraying by following the new process for property pesticide exclusion found on the EMMCP website under General Information/Property Exclusion or by accessing this link,

Remove Standing Water from Your Property

The Health Department also advises owners and tenants of property to inspect their own outdoor areas for any containers, abandoned swimming pools, tires, old flower pots, and even bottle caps, to eliminate any standing water. Additional proactive information from the EMMCP may be found below and on their website at

Mosquitoes are a controllable pest. The mosquitoes bothering you may be emerging from wetlands located up to 2 miles away or they may be coming from containers on your own property. Homeowners should be aware that once a container is inundated with rainwater in the summer, it becomes a likely site for a mosquito to lay eggs on the water surface. If the water remains in the container for more than a week, the larvae that emerge from the eggs will have enough time to develop into their adult flying stage. It is not unusual to see hundreds of mosquito larvae in as little as one pint of water. Once mosquito larvae mature and emerge from the water, their likely targets will be the owners of the yard and their neighbors.

To prevent a yard from becoming a source for mosquitoes, homeowners should make a thorough inspection of their property and remove or modify water-holding containers that may breed mosquitoes. Tires should either be disposed of or stored inside a garage or cellar. Potential water holding containers such as rubbish barrels, buckets, wheelbarrows and small boats should be covered or stored upside down. The water in wading pools and birdbaths should be changed at least once a week. Infrequently used pools should be tightly covered or chlorinated. Barrels used by gardeners to collect rainwater should be emptied once a week or treated with Bti, an effective and relatively non-toxic mosquito larvicide. Ornamental ponds should be stocked with small fish or treated with Bti as needed. Bti is available to homeowners under the product name, Mosquito Dunks.

If residents have any questions about mosquitoes or how to control them, contact the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project at (781) 899-5730.

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