City waging chemical welfare against mosquitoes

By Travis Gulbrandson

travis.gulbrandson@plaintalk.net

The City of Vermillion fogged for mosquitoes for the first time this year last week.

Parks technician Jessica Kennedy said the fogging took place in zones one and two, which are on the north end of town above Clark Street.

“The cool temperatures later in the spring helped keep the numbers down, and so just recently is when the numbers started climbing,” she said. “We’ve been treating with larvacide, and that helps keep the numbers down.”

The fogging went well, Kennedy said.

“The next day (there were) five or less mosquitoes in each trap, so it was in my opinion a success, because before that it was over 150 to 200 mosquitoes,” she said.

Fogging takes place whenever more than 100 mosquitoes are found in a trap.

“Every morning they get checked, counted and emptied,” Kennedy said. “Usually after a fogging there’s not very many, which is good. That means it’s working. It all depends on how fast the eggs are hatching, depending on the weather, the temperature and the rain.”

Another fogging session took place in zone two this Tuesday because that trap had more than 200 mosquitoes in it again.

“We’re thinking it’s just because there’s some swampland over there that we cannot treat with larvacide as well as we would like to because it’s such a big area,” Kennedy said.

She added, though, that mosquitoes will be found not only in ponds and swamp areas, but any place that has standing water.

“Even a kiddie pool that hasn’t been emptied, or old tires that have water sitting in them,” she said. “Any water, whether it’s a cupful or a couple gallons, can have larva in it.”

One species of mosquito that hasn’t been found in Vermillion yet this year is the kind that carries the West Nile Virus.

“If that is in the count at all, even if there are just five in there, we begin fogging, just because that’s more of a safety issue for the residents,” Kennedy said.

But, just because they haven’t been present in any of the traps, that doesn’t mean they aren’t in the area, she said.

“They’re just not in our traps,” Kennedy said. “They usually come a little bit later in the season. It’s kind of early for them. About July is when we’ll start seeing those.”

Kennedy said Vermillion residents should always be sure to take proper precautions when they go outside.

“Wear long sleeves if you want to keep yourself protected, and wear bug repellent,” she said. “If you don’t want to do either of those things, stay indoors when mosquitoes are present. It’s usually about 8 or 8:30 (p.m.) when they start coming out.”

Parks and rec director Jim Goblirsch said that if anyone has questions about fogging, they can contact the department office at 677-7050.

They may also request a no-spray zone, he added.

“We have directional sprayers on the vehicles so that if one house doesn’t want it, we can turn it away and we can turn it back as we go down the street a little bit further,” Goblirsch said.

Zones three and four, which are in the southern part of town, were fogged on Wednesday and Thursday.

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