Mosquito spray trucks missing due to the rain

Mosquito spray trucks missing due to the rain

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Mosquitoes are one of the biggest complaints people have in the summer time, and people in Columbus are yet again finding the blood-sucking pests as a big problem this year.

With recent reports about the first West Nile Case in Georgia in 2013, people are trying to stay away from mosquitoes. Residents in Columbus, Georgia have been asking News Leader 9 about the mosquitoes spray truck that runs in downtown neighborhoods from early March to October.

Ed Saidla, the District Program Manager at the Health Department, told News Leader 9 that they have not used the spray vehicle since last fall. Saidla explained that they have been using larvicides everyday, which is a mosquito control method that attacks larvae. Saidla said this is a more effective form of mosquito control, since the Health Department can get rid of more pests this way.

Eliminating and attacking mosquitoes by using the truck that uses fogs to attack adult mosquitoes is known as adulticides. Although larvicides are more effective, Saidla said the Health Department wants to use the spray trucks as well to eliminate larger numbers of mosquitoes.

"We are planning on spraying sometime next week," Saidla explained. "However, the temperature, the wind speed, and the weather just have to be right for the trucks to work well. For the past few years it had been pouring and raining. So, we have not been able to use the vehicles."

Saidlas also said that the Health Department determines which areas to spray by the number of complaints they receive from neighborhoods, and places where people can find large number of mosquitoes like parks and downtown.

The rain has also caused the water currents in swamps, creeks and even lakes to move at a rapid rate. This situation makes it difficult for mosquitoes to breed, which is why more mosquitoes are found in people's backyard nowadays.

"Standing water can be found in backyards," Saidla said. "Pet's water bowl, swimming pools, flower pots…there are many materials that can collect still water, and mosquitoes breed and live around it."

Saidla explained that the sprays have improved since the last few years to the point where they stopped warning people when the trucks come to visit the neighborhoods and other parts of Columbus. In addition, Saidla gave few tips on what people can do to avoid mosquitoes.

"Use appropriate insect repellent," Saidla explained. "Keep backyards clean and free of standing water. If you are very sensitive to mosquito bites, then try wearing long sleeves. There are multiple ways to keep mosquitoes away from people, but these are the best advices I know."

The Fourth of July fireworks have been rescheduled for this Saturday on July 13, 2013. Remember to keep these tips in mind, and stay safe from mosquito bites this summer.

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