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The fog of war

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mosquito fight begins

The annual mosquito war is officially under way, according to Public Works Director Larry Coloni. He and his staff have been mosquito fogging since July 1 and have fogged on July 9, 12, 21, 23 and 27.

Fogging for mosquitoes is done at dusk and is dependent on the correct weather conditions, which according to Coloni is best when the temperature outside is between 60 and 85. And the wind has to be just right: it’s ineffective to fog when the wind is blowing above 5 mph.

Coloni tries to be judicial to keep costs down since fighting mosquitoes can be an expensive job. Proper planning and working under the most preferred weather conditions both help in that regard. Part of the planning involves getting a jump start in May with larvicide treatment that is applied to standing water and catch basins to help prevent breeding. The larvicide he uses is called BTI, which is death to mosquitoes but harmless to pets or birds.

Everyone being on the lookout for standing water is a big help. Coloni warns that even areas that only have a small amount of water, like a kids’ pool, for example, can become a mosquito breeding area. Also, swimming pools that aren’t in use can be problematic. That’s because large pools not being treated with chemicals contain dirty water that attracts mosquitoes. Pools, both big and small, can be perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Every year Coloni reminds residents that they can be a key contributor in the battle against mosquitoes. Residents help to identify trouble spots where mosquitoes are particularly bad, especially helpful when one street is having terrible mosquito problems while neighbors just a street away are living in peace.

The Public Works Department will respond to complaints in specific areas and will keep up the battle through September, ending with the first frost sometime in October. Coloni encourages residents to get in touch if they know of a problem area.

Mosquito danger spots

  • gutters that hold water
  • a pet’s water dish left outside
  • bird baths
  • ponds, water landscape features
  • unused, untreated swimming pools, big and small
  • stored used tires

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