City of Lubbock Vector Control
102 Municipal Dr
Lubbock, TX 79457
(806) 775-2932

To report mosquitoes:
(806) 775-3110

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, you will find common questions about mosquitoes, viruses, and what Vector Control can do to help.

What are larvacides and adulticides?

Larvicides are products used to kill immature mosquitoes before they become adults. They can be either biological (such as toxin from specific bacteria that is lethal to mosquito larvae but not to other organisms) or chemical products, such as insect growth regulators, surface films, or organophosphates. Larvicides are applied directly to water sources that hold mosquito eggs, larvae or pupae. When used well, larvicides can help to reduce the overall mosquito burden by limiting the number of new mosquitoes that are produced.

Adulticides are products used to kill adult mosquitoes. Adulticides can be applied from hand-held sprayers, truck-mounted sprayers or using airplanes. Adulticides, when used well, can have an immediate impact to reduce the number of adult mosquitoes in an area, with the goal of reducing the number of infected mosquitoes that can bite people and possibly transmit West Nile virus.

Both larvicides and adulticides are regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Are pesticides harmful to people?

Effect on human health is one of the primary factors considered in regulation of pesticides. Pesticides that can be used for mosquito control have been judged by the EPA not to pose an unreasonable risk to human health. People who are concerned about exposure to a pesticide, such as those with chemical sensitivity or breathing conditions such as asthma can reduce their potential for exposure by staying indoors during the application period (typically nighttime).

A published study, (MMWR, July 11, 2003) examined illnesses in nine states associated with exposure to pesticides used to control mosquito populations from 1999-2002. This study found that "application of certain insecticides poses a low risk for acute, temporary health effects among person in areas that were sprayed and among workers handling and applying insecticides.

For more information on pesticides and health, consult the US Environmental Protection Agency which oversees the registration of these chemicals. The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) can also provide information through a toll-free number, 1-800-858-7378.

What is West Nile Virus?

West Nile virus is a virus commonly found in Africa, West Asia, and the Middle East. It is not known how long it has been in the United States, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believe the virus probably has been in the eastern United States since early summer 1999. It is closely related to St. Louis encephalitis virus found in the United States. The virus can infect humans, birds, mosquitoes, horses, and some other animals.

What is Zika Virus?

Zika virus is primarily spread to people through mosquito bites. The virus can be spread from mother to child. Spread of the virus through blood transfusion and sexual contact has also been reported.

Most people infected with the virus have mild or no symptoms. For those who do develop symptoms, illness is generally mild and typically lasts a few days to a week. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).

Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon and fatalities are rare. An increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome was noted during an outbreak of Zika virus in French Polynesia in 2014. An increase in microcephaly was noted during an outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil in 2015. 

Click here to for a short video by Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director CDC/ATSDR.

Does the City test mosquitoes for viruses?

Yes. The City of Lubbock sends mosquito pools for testing to The Institute for Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech University. 

What number can I call to have my area sprayed?

775-3110 is the mosquito hotline number.  Due to the high volume of calls, you will not receive a call back.  Follow the instructions on the message prompt.  

Can County residents call? 

Yes.  The City of Lubbock and County of Lubbock have an interlocal agreement in place to spray in the unincorporated areas of Lubbock County.  Idalou, New Deal, Wolfforth, Slaton, Woodrow, Buffalo Springs Lake, Ransom Canyon, Acuff, and other surrounding communities within Lubbock County are surveyed and treated by the City of Lubbock Vector Control Department.