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Mosquito Control On and Around School Property

August 11, 2004


Mosquito Control On and Around School Property
Mark Buffone, State Entomologist

Since the peak mosquito season is upon us, this article serves to remind schools of their responsibilities if and when they request mosquito control service(s) on and around school property.

The return of students to school in a couple of weeks may coincide with high densities of mosquitoes and/or the appearance of both Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV). Recent rains and virus isolations found in mosquitoes as well as a reported human case is cause for prudent planning.

In the main, schools may find it necessary to have school property treated to reduce either the annoyance of adult mosquitoes and/or the risk of those mosquitoes that may be carrying virus. Although these ultra-low-volume adulticide operations are usually done in the evening, night, and/or early morning, the fact that pesticides are being used on school property triggers compliance with the Children and Families Protection Act. What does this mean?

It means that in a non-emergency situation, mosquito control adulticiding can be legally done as long as the school, day care center, and /or school child care aged program ensure the following:

1. completed and submitted both an indoor and outdoor Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan to the Department of Agricultural Resources. Specifically, the name of the mosquito control district or project and the pesticides (such as trade name, EPA number and active ingredient) anticipated to be used must be outlined in the outdoor plan;

2. that any pesticide applicator(s) involved with the mosquito control treatment(s) are certified and/or appropriately licensed to use pesticides outlined in IPM plan;

3. that students, staff, and parents receive, prior to the use of pesticides to control mosquitoes, standard written notification at least 2 working days before pesticides are used; Note: Information to be included in the standard written notification shall be provided to the school, day care center, or school age child care program by the certified commercial applicator, or licensed applicator, or the mosquito control district or project carrying out the pesticide application and be posted for 72 hours in a central location.

4. that treated areas will be posted with clear and conspicuous warning signs such as the main and/or side entrances

5. keep a record of the application.

In an emergency situation, the school can apply for an emergency waiver from the local Board of Health (Note: It is only for a single use) if the school determines that an immediate public health threat exists to its students and staff, and that the situation would require pesticide use to school property sooner than the law would allow.

If an emergency waiver were approved, schools and the mosquito control project working together would be required to:

1. post clear and conspicuous warning signs near and along the perimeter of the site of the treatment such as the main and/or side entrances
2. leave the warning signs posted for a reasonable period of time to prevent exposure to children
3. provide standard written notification to employees, pupils, and parents immediately prior to or immediately following emergency treatment
4. maintain and make available to the public upon request written or electronic records of the emergency, the cause, and actions taken on site for 5 years.

Protecting children from unnecessary exposure to pesticides is foremost. However, during this time of year, there may be situations that warrant area wide adulticiding on school property to protect children from mosquitoes and arbovirus (arthropod borne viruses) transmitted by them. Therefore, all parties concerned including but not limited to schools, day care centers, school aged child care programs, board of health's, mosquito control districts and projects should be proactive and remain vigilant in order to avoid conflicts and undue delay in protecting children.

Please check weekly the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Arbovirus Information Web Site (see below)

Information on mosquito control, can be accessed through the following link:

Additional details, forms, and information about the Children and Families Protection Act, IPM plans, Standard Written Notification, and Emergency Waivers can be accessed on by clicking on the links found below or links posted on the side bar of the site listed below.

Information to contact Massachusetts organized regional mosquito control districts and projects

Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project Tel:(413) 447-9808
19 Harris Street FAX: (413) 447-7185
Pittsfield, MA 01201


Bristol County Mosquito Control Project Tel: (508) 823-5253
140 North Walker St. FAX: (508)-828-1868
Taunton, MA 02780


Cape Cod Mosquito Control Project Tel: (508) 775-1510
86 Willow St. FAX: (508) 362-7917
Yarmouth, MA 02675


Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project Tel: (508) 393-3055
111 Otis St. FAX: (508) 393-8492
Northborough, MA 01532


East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project Tel: (781) 899-5730
11 Sun Street FAX: (781) 647-4988
Waltham, MA 02453


Northeastern Massachusetts Mosquito Tel:(978) 463-6630
& Wetland Management District FAX (978) 470-0175
261 Northern Blvd. Plum Island
Newburyport, MA 01950



Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project Tel: (781) 762-3681
34 Endicott St. Bldg. 34 FAX: (781) 769-6436
Norwood, MA 02062


Plymouth County Mosquito Control Project Tel: (781) 585-5450
142 R Pembroke Street
PO Box 72 FAX: (781) 582-1276
Kingston, MA 02364


Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project Tel: (617) 361-0550
36 Industrial Drive FAX: (617) 361-4954
Hyde Park, MA 02136