Portsmouth neighborhood complains of increase in mosquitoes

Posted at 1:10 PM, Jul 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 09:08:05-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Neighbors in the Churchland section of Portsmouth say the pesky mosquitoes are back...and worse than ever.

Neighbors tell News 3 they started noticing the problem a few weeks ago.

"There's been days when you literally can't go outside because when you step outside they just swarm," said Kathleen Foster, who lives in Churchland.

Neighbors say the problem comes from Craney Island.

"That's where they dump a lot of the dredging they do out in the river. That leaves a good amount of sludge where the mosquitoes can breed there," said one neighbor, who didn't want to be named.

The City of Portsmouth says it's working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages Craney Island, to fix the problem.

According to Keith Lockwood, Chief of the Operations Branch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the organization is taking a three-pronged approach to ridding Craney Island and the surrounding areas of mosquitoes.

First, they're getting rid of standing water where the insects breed. Second, targeting mosquitoes in the larval stage. Third, using pesticides to kill the adult mosquitoes.

The most recent treatment took place last week, Lockwood said.

"We definitely noticed there was a drop in mosquitoes for several days after the city was supposed to go through and spray. I can tell they're doing what they can but the mosquitoes seem to come right back," said Foster.

Lockwood says future treatments will depend on if the mosquito population continues to be a problem.