Streets Department battles mosquito problem

Published 7:38 am Monday, June 22, 2009

By By Chandler Myers
Atmore’s streets department is again making the community a little safer by taking on the mosquito population around the city by doing weekly spraying.
The mosquito spraying crew for the streets department runs four days a week with two routes on the north side of town as well as the south side of town.
Don Whatley, director for the Atmore Streets Department, said the crews make runs in the evening Monday through Thursday.
The spray that the trucks emit on the routes is safe to be put in the air, so citizens of Atmore should not be worried about it hurting them or the environment.
Whatley said the chemicals in the spray are only harmful for one target.
Summer is the most active time for mosquitoes, and the concern over the insect has become greater since the heightened awareness of Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, West Nile Virus and St. Louis Encephalitis virus.
According to a press release from the Alabama Department of Public Health, to combat the mosquito problem larvicide is available to place in areas where they might breed.
Steve Mitchell, environmental supervisor for the Escambia County Health Department, said staying inside and bug repellent are great ways to avoid mosquitoes.
The press release also listed tips to reduce the chance of mosquito exposure and breeding:
1. Dispose of all rubbish such as cans, bottles and anything that will hold water.
2. Turn over items stored outside such as wheelbarrows, children’s wading pools and buckets.
3. Keep hedges and grass trimmed to a minium because mosquitoes use them as as shady places to hide during the heat of the day.

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