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Public Health - Seattle & King County

Mosquito control: Who's responsible?

Mosquito control involves reducing the number of mosquitoes in an area through either mechanical or chemical methods. Although we should all work to reduce the number of mosquitoes in our area, the responsibility of mosquito control ultimately lies with the property owner (city, county, or private ownership). As a result, mosquito control measures are determined by the landowner.

Stormwater ponds:

If you believe that a stormwater pond is a source of mosquitoes, look for a sign posted near the pond or call your local public utilities office to determine who is responsible. If you are not sure who owns the stormwater pond, call your city or county government for more information.

The King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks maintains stormwater ponds in unincorporated King County. Call 206-296-1900 if you have concerns about a DNRP stormwater pond.

See mosquito control in stormwater ponds or other drainage structures, such as catch basins, on private property (PDF).

County property:

Mosquito control is done by different agencies in King County including Dept. of Transportation/Roads, Metro/Transit, Facilities Management Division, and Solid Waste Division and Wastewater Treatment Division.

City property:

Each city has its own plan for dealing with mosquito problems and stagnant water. Please contact your city’s Public Utilities department, found in the government section of your phone book, if you have a problem or question relating to mosquito control policies.

Private property:

Public Health does not have any regulatory authority to require property owners to remove mosquito habitat except if the habitat is in violation of solid waste regulations. The responsibility of mosquito control ultimately lies with the property owner (city, county or private ownership.) For additional guidance refer to mosquito control on private property (PDF).

Permitted swimming pools on private property:

If you have a concern about a public swimming pool or wading pool or a swimming pool at an apartment or condominium complex contact Environmental Health’s Food and Facilities Program at 206-263-9566.

Additional information:

Report dead birds
Report dead birds

Help us fight West Nile virus! If you see a dead bird in King County, report it through the Washington State Dept. of Health's online dead bird reporting website.

See photo-illustrated Bird Identification Gallery for names of birds.