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Zika Virus Prevention Begins in Your Yard

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 Zika Virus Prevention Begins in Your Yard
Tips for Removing Standing Water, Overgrowth and Old Tires

(Hampton Roads, Va., Aug. 24, 2016) – News of the Zika Virus continues to make headlines now that the mosquito-transmitted infection has made its way to the United States. While there is no immunization available to ward off the virus, there are measures you can take in your yard to prevent the breeding of the Asian Tiger mosquito, a local pest and potential virus vector.

“In the hottest part of the summer, it takes a little over a week for the Asian Tiger mosquito to develop from eggs to adults,” said Dreda Symonds, director of the Chesapeake Mosquito Control Commission. “The most important thing you can do to prevent the proliferation of new mosquitoes is to eliminate standing water from all containers in your yard.” 

Such containers can include everything from buckets, empty flower pots, children’s wading pools and clogged gutters to items you might not suspect such as corrugated down spout pipes, open-ended pipes in the ground and within the folds of plastic tarps. 

“A good rule of thumb is to dump standing water out of containers every seven days so that any mosquito larvae will dry up,” said Symonds. “Think like a mosquito, when checking your yard.”

Old tires, in particular, can be a major breeding area for mosquitoes, as it’s harder to thoroughly remove water from the inner crevice of the tire. Consider removing them from your yard entirely. Check for your city or county’s tire recycling or removal options in’s Hampton Roads Residential Tire Recycling Guide at

Finally, make sure to keep any overgrowth in your yard at bay. Asian Tiger mosquitoes love shady, sheltered areas and are particularly fond of English Ivy, so keep your shrubs and ground cover trimmed and tidy.

For more tips on mosquito breeding prevention, view the five-minute “Guide to Asian Tiger Mosquito Control” video at

Mosquito Breeding Prevention Tips

1) Use the “Tip and Toss” method
Dump any container that can catch hold rain water in your yard
2) Empty containers every seven days to prevent mosquito larvae from hatching
“If it sits for seven, it’s mosquito heaven”
3) Keep your bird baths clean
scrub or wipe out bird baths once a week and refill with fresh water, or consider treating it with a larvicide product that is safe for you, your pets, birds and fish
4) Trim your shrubs and ground cover
Asian Tiger mosquitoes love shady, sheltered areas and are particularly fond of English Ivy
5) Remove old tires from your yard
Checking your locality tire recycling and removal guidelines at Residential Tire Recycling Guide

Residents may schedule bulk pickup online or by calling 382-2489. Up to two tires (without rims) will be accepted per bulk pickup. Residents may schedule 12 bulk pickups per year. 
Residents may drop off four tires (off the rim) at any Gloucester County convenience center. For more information, call (804) 693-5370 
Residents may place up to five tires, including rims, at the curb on their regularly scheduled trash collection day. There is a max of 10 tires per household per year. For more information, call (757) 727-8311
Isle of Wight
Residents may drop off up to four tires per day at any Isle of Wight County convenience center. For more information, call (757) 365-1658. 
James City
Residents may use the Jolly Pond and Toano Convenience Centers for disposing of tires. Coupons required. Call 565-0971 for more information.   
Newport News
Residents who pay the Solid Waste User Fee may drop off four off-rim tires per week to the Recovery Operation Center. Maximum of 12 tires per year.  Passenger car and small truck tires only. For more information call 886-7947. 
Residents may dispose of up to four tires per household per month at no charge. Bulk pickup requests must be placed by 3 p.m. the day before collection. To schedule a bulk pick, please call 664-6510. 
Tires may be brought to the City’s old Recycling Center which is located behind the Municipal Building next to the pool parking lot. To cover the cost of the disposal of tires there is a $1 per tire fee. Purchase City decals in the Treasurer’s office and affix the decal to each tire prior to disposal. 
Residents may place up to 8 tires (without rim) each year at curbside for pickup on scheduled trash pickup days. There are also three Portsmouth Recycles Day events each year where tires are accepted without counting towards the annual maximum. For more information, call 393-8663. 
Residents may drop off up to four tires per day at any Isle of Wight County convenience center. For more information, call (757) 365-1658. 
Residents may use SPSA or special recycling events for disposing of tires. For pricing on year-round disposal, call SPSA at 961-3668 or find the next free recycling event here.  
Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach residents can recycle tires via the City Landfill & Resource Recovery Center. Up to four automobile or light truck tires with or without rims can be disposed of free of charge with proof of residency. Only waste generated at the primary residence of City of Virginia Beach citizens will be accepted. Waste must be delivered in a privately owned, non-commercial, vehicle that is no larger than a pickup truck bed. The City of Virginia Beach Landfill & Resource Recovery Center is located at 1989 Jake Sears Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23464. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you have questions call (757) 385-1980 or email  
Residents may use the James City County Jolly Pond Convenience Centers for disposing of tires. Coupons are required. Call 565-0971 for more information.   
Residents may bring up to five tires per day to the Waste Management Center for disposal. Fees apply: $1.50/for standard automobile tires without rims; $3.00 if the rim is on.  Tires 19.5” or larger are $5.00 (no rim) and $7.50 (on rim). Please call for fees on additional tire sizes, (757) 890-3780.

About is your go-to resource for all things green in Hampton Roads— from recycling tips and pointers for keeping local waterways clean to water-saving ideas and simple steps to make local living easy on the environment. Launched in 2011, the region-wide public awareness and education campaign is administered through the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and powered by the following members: The cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg; the counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Southampton, Surry and York; the Town of Smithfield; and HRSD. Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter, tune in to YouTube and catch the “Let’s Talk Green” blog, written by a team of local experts. 


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