Rhode Island D.E.M. Supplies Larvacide to Fight Mosquito Population

Jun 4, 2013

The state Department of Environmental Management will distribute mosquito larvicide to Rhode Island communities starting Tuesday.  Cities and towns use the product to kill mosquitos in catch basins, where they most commonly breed.

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The state has been supplying cities and towns with mosquito larvicide ever since West Nile virus emerged 14 years ago.  They use an environmentally-friendly product that comes in a briquette, about the size of two ice cubes. Town officials put one in each storm water catch basin and it kills larvae for six months.

Al Gettman, who runs the program for the Department of Environmental Management, said most communities will send representatives to the University of Rhode Island Tuesday to pick up their share of briquettes.

"Oh it’s highly effective," said Gettman, "If a mosquito larva ingests a tiny dosage it can poison and kill the larva in a matter of hours."

The state pays for two thirds of each community’s larvicide. The cities and towns are expected to pay the balance.

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