Consumer Advisory: Beware of Scams around Mosquito Treatment, Applications

Find licensed companies online at Michigan.gov/MosquitoControlBusiness

For immediate release: July 23, 2021
Program contact: Brian Verhougstraete, 517-582-4573
Media contact: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724

LANSING, MI - After explosion of mosquito populations across the state, many Michiganders are turning to pesticides to combat these annoying pests. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is advising the public to avoid falling victim to scams and illegitimate businesses, and to only hire licensed mosquito control companies. A list of companies licensed to control mosquitoes in Michigan can be found at Michigan.gov/MosquitoControlBusiness.

Businesses offering pest control services such as mosquito spraying must be licensed by MDARD, and they must employ applicators who have passed MDARD's pesticide proficiency examinations. Pest control businesses must also meet minimum experience requirements, carry liability insurance, and may only apply pesticides registered by MDARD.

"Licensed mosquito control companies and their certified applicators have demonstrated they have the knowledge to use pesticides safely and effectively," said Brian Verhougstraete, MDARD's Pesticide Section Manager. "Utilizing properly licensed and certified applicators protects public health while these professionals work to keep mosquitoes in check around your home."

Along with finding licensed firms, MDARD's website provides consumers with information about what to look for when hiring a mosquito control company. Before making an application, all licensed companies are required to specify an approximate schedule, frequency, and duration of their services.

Consumers should be aware that pest control businesses are legally required to obtain their consent before making a pesticide application and must provide the following information:

  • The name of the applicator that performed the service.
  • The time and date the application was made.
  • A description of the target pest to be controlled.
  • A list of pesticides applied, including the common name of the active ingredient(s).
  • A list of precautionary warnings or reentry restrictions that appear on the label of the pesticide applied.
  • Detailed information about the risks and benefits of pesticides.

"Consumers should do their homework before choosing a mosquito control service, especially when those services are being advertised on social media," added Verhougstraete.

Other steps to take to safely reduce mosquito populations include:

  • Removing any puddles of water or standing water around your home to reduce breeding sites.
  • Keeping grass and shrubs trimmed short, reducing places for flying (adult) mosquitoes to rest.
  • Using permethrin to treat clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents) or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.

For more information on MDARD's Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division, visit Michigan.gov/MDARD.

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