New wave of post-Irene mosquitoes hatches

By on September 13, 2011

Mosquitoes can breed in trash. (CDC)

Recent aerial spraying aimed at knocking down an exploding mosquito population after Hurricane Irene “helped for a few days,” Dare County Vector Control Supervisor Carl Walker says.

But the problem is back again.

“We had another hatch come out in the last day or two,” he said Monday.

In response to the newest generation of mosquitoes, the county will send out trucks to spray nightly. Depending on the weather, the vehicles will spray five to seven nights a week, starting between 7 and 7:30 p.m., he said.

Because mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, the county is spraying ditches and other nonmoving waters with a mixture that kills the larvae, he said, noting that the solution is not detrimental to the overall water quality.

The county hired two planes, one out of Florida and one from Mississippi, to spray over the county, with the exceptions of state and federal lands. The county has asked for permission to spray over the state and federal lands, which contain swamps – some of the best mosquito breeding grounds – but it hasn’t been granted, either for the vehicles or for the planes, Walker said.

Aerial spraying started last Thursday, but was suspended after two hours because of weather conditions. It resumed Friday night, Sept. 9.

The county hopes to get another aerial spray set up soon, Walker said, but is unsure when or if that will take place.

In the meantime, Dare County residents should continue to dump out any standing water that may be in containers around the yard.

If you see the vehicles coming down the street in the evening to spray, Walker advised going into the backyard or inside, because “if we see you standing in the yard, we’ll turn the sprayer off,” and “we are trying to get everything sprayed.”

The vehicles do not spray on U.S. 264 or U.S. 158; most of the territory they cover is county property, he said.

There are no hopes of completely beating out the mosquito problem.

“Hopefully soon we’ll get some cooler weather,” Walker said. “That will slow them down.”

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