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City Views

City Views presents commentary from staff on the latest projects, initiatives, and successes.

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Jun 02

The Hazards of Pesticides

Posted on June 2, 2015 at 3:40 PM by OCOM Specialist

The summer months are among us, meaning beach trips, fireworks for the fourth of July, and the sizzling sounds of burgers on the grill. Unfortunately, summer also means mosquitoes, ants and other pesky bugs! Instead of spraying around your house with hazardous chemicals, which can end up in our local streams and eventually to the Chesapeake Bay, try some of these helpful tips.

Use Pesticides Wisely
Choose natural organic pesticides, use sparingly and most importantly avoid using before expected rain fall. Two to five applications a season should be sufficient. Avoid pesticides that contain DEET ( N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) and DDT ( di-chlorodiphenyltrichloroethane).

Pesticides drift 
Chemicals used not only enter the groundwater, streams and rivers, the particles attach to dust and soil, which not only is harmful to the environment, but the dust and soil get tracked inside of our homes from our shoes. Remember to take your shoes off.

Mosquito Love Water
Water deeply (saturate the soil). Watering your lawn/garden deeply and between the hours of midnight to 8AM every third day will help. Have a pond? No problem, stock your pond with mosquito fish that eat the larva, or treat them with larvicide mosquito rings. Also, any standing water, for example, bird baths, make sure to change the water every other day. Mosquitoes don’t need much water to lay larva.

Please don’t forget to recycle your empty pesticide/bug spray bottles! Residents can drop off hazardous materials at the City’s Property Yard during Household Hazardous Waste collection on August 23, from 9AM-1PM.  Residents can also bring materials to the I-66 Transfer Station, 4618 West Ox Road, Fairfax, VA 22030, Thursday thru Sunday throughout the year. 

For further information concerning stormwater runoff and pollutants, please contact Jason Widstrom, P.E., Civil Engineer with the Department of Public Works at 703-248-5026 (TTY 711) or via email at