Mosquito Control Requirements for Pesticide Businesses

With the increased awareness of West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, the public and municipalities will demand greater control of mosquitoes. The most effective control of these insects and the diseases they can carry is through a comprehensive, integrated mosquito control program.

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Control Program

While an integrated program has many components including surveillance, habitat elimination and public outreach, this document will focus on Wisconsin's requirements related to the use of pesticides to control mosquitoes and commercial pesticide applications.

One resource for information on developing an integrated mosquito control program is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The site contains a document entitled, "Guidelines for Surveillance, Prevention and Control." Another resource is your county public health department.

Licensing Requirements

Pesticide application businesses that offer mosquito control must meet the following requirements:

The University of Wisconsin Extension Pesticide Applicator Training program provides the training and training materials for pesticide applicator certification. Visit the PAT web site for information on ordering training materials and training sessions or call 608-262-7588.

Landscape Rule Requirements

If your company is hired by a municipality or government agency to control mosquitoes for public health purposes, you are exempt from landscape rule requirements found in Wisconsin's pesticide rule, s. ATCP 29.56, Wis. Admin. Code.

If your company is hired by a homeowner or other non-governmental entity to control mosquitoes, you are not exempt and are required to follow the landscape rule in s. ATCP 29.56, Wis. Admin. Code:

Pesticide Drift

Your applicators can only apply pesticides to the property you are hired to treat. It is against the law to drift or to over apply sprays or granules onto other properties.

Pesticides Applied to Water

Pesticides used to control mosquitoes must target the different life stages from larva to adult. Larval control requires that pesticides be applied to water, the larval habitat.

Pesticides applied to waters of the state have special requirements:

  • Before applying pesticides to waters of the state, a permit from the Department of Natural Resources may be required. Contact your local DNR district office for permit information.
  • Waters of the state means nearly any water body in the state including private lakes and ponds, public lakes, ponds and rivers, streams, marshes and wetlands
  • Larvacides may be liquid, granular or a solid like a briquette.
  • Biological larvacides are available such as different varieties of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) or insect growth regulators.

Customer Involvement

Remind your customers of their role in effective mosquito control:

  • Eliminate mosquito breeding habitats by emptying standing water in outdoor items such as buckets, toys, plastic covers, or outdoor equipment.
  • Drain ponds or puddles or fill with dirt.
  • Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, and potted plant trays at least once a week.
  • Properly maintain swimming pools and unclog rain gutters.
  • Use mosquito repellents that contain DEET (diethyl-meta-toluamide) and closely follow label directions and precautions.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants if entering areas with high mosquito populations.
  • Stay inside in the early morning and early evening when mosquitoes are active.
  • Be sure window and door screens are fitted properly and in good repair.


Wisconsin West Nile Virus Hotline 1-800-433-1610
Information clearinghouse for WNV in Wisconsin.

Pesticide Rules and Requirement - DATCP
Pesticide licenses, permits, certification information.

Chemical Control of Aquatic Plants and Vegetation - DNR
Permit information to apply pesticides to water for aquatic plant or mosquito control.

American Mosquito Control Association
A scientific/educational, not-for-profit public service association for mosquito control. Phone 732-932-0667 or e-mail

National Pesticide Information Center
Provides objective, science-based information about pesticides, including mosquito repellents and insecticides, 1-800-858-7378 or e-mail

Pesticides and Mosquito Control - EPA
Information on mosquito control methods, pesticides, repellents, other resources.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Extensive information on WNV including prevention, surveillance, and health.

For more information on the use of pesticides to control mosquitoes, call 608-224-4500 or e-mail