The decision to apply insecticides to an area is based on extensive surveillance and habitat inspection. Due to size of some of the larval mosquito habitats in Sussex County, our operation sometimes involves applications of larvicide by aircraft. Controlling the mosquito population while they are in their larval stage is the most efficient, cost-effective approach.
There are 63 potential "airspray" sites comprising of a total of 10,465.6 acres of larval mosquito habitat in Sussex County. The areas considered for airsprays are uninhabited wetlands of at least 10 acres that become flooded with seasonal rains. These sites are inspected on a regular basis for mosquito larvae. If and when the larval mosquito population reaches a specified threshold level at any of these sites, an aerial application of larvicide is usually done. It would not be possible to treat these sites by hand due to their size and inaccessibility.
The percentage of the above mentioned sites and thus the corresponding acreage larvicided by aircraft each year varies greatly depending on the dynamics of the mosquito population for that year.