Recent Rains Add to Mosquito Season

Mosquito Sprayer in Operation

Mosquito Sprayer in Operation

Equal elements of prevention and protection are needed to combat mosquito infestation.  Prevention helps keep their numbers down and protection help keeps them from biting you.

Local authorities agreed that the recent heavy rains experienced in Prowers County added to the potential of having more mosquitoes in the area, especially in areas of standing water along irrigation ditches, some low lying areas near streams and in containers that hold water for any length of time.

Spray Apparatus

Spray Apparatus

Keith Siemson, Manager of Environmental Health for the Prowers County Public Health & Environment Department said the message the public needs to remain mindful of is we know West Nile Virus does exist and will likely be circulating in the mosquito population in our region so everyone needs to follow the 4 “Ds” of protection against mosquitoes.  State and county health departments have registered cases of West Nile mosquitoes in test pools from Prowers County in the months of August for 2011, 2012 and 2013.  A human case of West Nile Virus for the county was registered in August of last year.

  • Dawn/Dusk should be avoided as that is when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Dress in pants and long sleeved shirts.
  • Drain any standing water including things like flower pots and buckets etc that might be around the house.
  • DEET is the most effective mosquito repellant compound.  A wide variety of mosquito repellants utilize this as part of their product.

“The best spraying practices don’t really compare to just to have everyone check for standing water on their property.  All it takes for a breeding cycle is ten days and an open gallon can and that could generate up to 10,000 eggs that will hatch.”

Pat Mason, Lamar Public Works Director, agreed and stressed that the best preventative measures to keep breeding numbers down is for each resident to do a once-around of their property to make sure they have no open containers that can hold water.  “It might be a can or a tire or old flower pot in your back yard,” he explained.  Mason added that “The best spraying practices don’t really compare to just to have everyone check for standing water on their property.  All it takes for a breeding cycle is ten days and an open gallon can and that could generate up to 10,000 eggs that will hatch.”

Mason said the rains and flooding added some possibilities for additional breeding, but not that much.  “We spray around the city about once a week, but the winds cannot be above 5 to 10mph or the spray just won’t be effective.”  If we do have high winds or rain in that cycle, we usually have to restart our schedule afterwards,” he explained.  The best times for the city to spray are early evening and morning when the winds are calm and the mosquitoes are out feeding.  “They won’t be out in hot weather at mid-day,” Mason said.  He added that the city also puts down a larvicide every ten days, but only in the city limits, not out in irrigated lands in the county.  “On our thirty day cycle, we’ll try to overlap by the 20th day to continue our coverage.”  He said the county health department works with the city, maintaining mosquito traps so we have a good estimate of the numbers and trouble spots in our area.

The city had a spraying operation Thursday evening, July 24, using Hickory Street as a quadrant border.  The winds were just picking up from the south almost a little stronger to the mile per hour limit of effectiveness.  The operator said the route focuses on alleyways where possible.  The ten gallon tank of insecticide usually lasts for an eight hour spraying operation.  Go to the following web link for more info.  http://www.fightthebitecolorado.com/

By Russ Baldwin

 

Filed Under: AgriculturecommunityCountyEducationEnvironmentFeaturedGranadaHealthHollyLamarProwers CountyPublic SafetyWeatherWiley

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