Moultrie Observer

Local News

April 10, 2012

Mosquito program to focus on larvae

MOULTRIE — An unusually mild winter, early spring, and recent rains have created an ideal environment for mosquitoes this year, earlier than is normal.

In past years, normal procedure for combating the pest has been aerial spraying, according to the City of Moultrie. The slow-moving “mosquito truck” with flashing light has been a common sight for Moultrie residents during the spring and summer as it slowly made its way down city streets during late evening or early morning hours.

While the “mosquito truck” will continue to be seen, recent regulations passed by the State of Georgia Department of Natural Resources will require changes in how mosquito control will be implemented in the future, the city said in a press release.

“While aerial spraying involves an extremely small amount of pesticide that is applied in a vaporized state, the new regulations call for a more methodical and procedural program in order to reduce the amount of pesticide that could potentially find its way into our waters,” the release said.

Under the new regulations, in order to be covered under the state permit for mosquito control, an agency must file a Notice of Intent (NOI) with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources if that agency will accumulatively treat more than 8,960 acres. The City of Moultrie is filing an NOI since it will most likely pass this threshold considering the early emergence of mosquitoes this spring, which has required earlier than normal mosquito control.

Under the new permit, in order to ensure that other less intrusive methods of mosquito control are first investigated and employed before aerial spraying is absolutely required, the City of Moultrie will perform site investigation or surveillance to determine the amount of mosquito infestation. A representative from the City of Moultrie Public Works Department will investigate those areas reporting problems with mosquitoes and will attempt to locate the source of the problem. This will often be areas of stagnant, standing water.

The representative will be able to offer residents advice on eliminating possible mosquito breeding sites that may be on their property, such as cans or old tires which may hold enough water for mosquitos to breed. Public Works will also monitor potential mosquito breeding grounds on public rights-of-way, including standing water in ditches, and take steps to eliminate mosquitoes in their larval stage. In these ways, an attempt will be made to reduce the mosquito population before the larvae develop into adults and have to be controlled by aerial spraying.

In order to ensure an effective mosquito control program under the new regulations, citizens need to contact the City of Moultrie Public Works Department at 229-890-5423 to report any problems with mosquitoes or if they notice potential mosquito breeding sites.

“All efforts will be made to investigate areas experiencing mosquito infestation so that we can attempt to eliminate the source of the problem,” the city press release said. “However, during times of severe mosquito infestation, the ‘mosquito truck’ will still be seen during late evening or early morning hours, slowly making its way through town, targeting those areas experiencing mosquito problems.”

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