Mosquito spraying starts, thank goodness

Published 4:21 pm Thursday, April 23, 2009

The City of Bainbridge has stepped up its mosquito spraying this week as mosquitoes have made themselves quite the nuisances, thanks to the heavy rains earlier this year.

“I know they’re bad. That’s why we have started spraying,” said Tommy King, director of the City of Bainbridge’s Public Works Department.

King said his department doesn’t normally start spraying until May.

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However, the heavy rains and the subsequent areas that had high water and pockets of standing water forced the city to step up its spraying program, King said.

The city spends approximately $15,000 for its mosquito control program. Its includes spraying via a truck that can cover the entire city in a week by driving up and down streets three or four nights per week; and another part of the program is putting in briquettes of mosquito poison that are dropped into catch basins around the city.

King said the briquettes are good because they put an oily sheen over the standing water, which is the breeding ground and birthing place of those flying nuisances, which are then killed because the mosquitoes can’t hatch. These briquettes last several months, but aren’t used in large holding ponds because of the expense.

The county doesn’t spray for mosquitoes, and King said a private individual may spray around a person’s house if they don’t live within the city limits.

Other tips for control

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers as tip to control mosquitoes around the home.

Remove their habitat (where they live and breed)

• Eliminate standing water in rain gutters, old tires, buckets, plastic covers, toys or any other container where mosquitoes can breed.

• Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels and potted plant trays at least once a week to destroy potential mosquito habitats.

• Drain or fill temporary pools of water with dirt.

• Keep swimming pool water treated and circulating.

Prevent your exposure to mosquitoes

• Use EPA-registered mosquito repellents when necessary and follow label directions and precautions closely.

• Use head nets, long sleeves and long pants if you venture into areas with high mosquito populations, such as salt marshes.

• If there is a mosquito-borne disease warning in effect, stay inside during the evening when mosquitoes are active.

• Make sure window and door screens are “bug tight.”

• Replace your outdoor lights with yellow “bug” lights, which tend to attract less mosquitoes than ordinary lights. The yellow lights are not repellents, however.