Mosquito control important for avoiding West Nile virus - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mosquito control important for avoiding West Nile virus

June 23, 2003
Albany-This Dougherty County truck is on the road just about every night wiping out mosquitoes. Donell Mathis is in charge of the bug killing operation. He knows when it's working.

"Ok, I'm not finding any larva at this point," Mathis said, while dipping his larva scooper into a small pool of water.

That tells him a lot about his mosquito control program.

"The chemicals are working," he said. "The guys out to do the job are doing a good job."

Halfway through 2003, there have not been any human cases of the West Nile. But that doesn't mean the threat is not still there.

"It needs to build up in the bird population before it becomes available to get over into the human population," said Rose Marie Kelley, a state entomologist.

But people are not helpless. There are a lot of things you can do to protect yourself from West Nile, like avoiding standing water from being around your home and wearing insect repellant with Deet.

"Mosquitos are a community based problem. They need a community based solution," Kelley said.

But it's the community participation that needs a boost.

"I would love to have great participation to pour out standing water around homes," Mathis said.

Because that helps keep the mosquito population low. "Being in an area like this with five acres of water behind us, we should be eaten up with Mosquitos, but were not."

And it's his job to keep it that way.

posted at 11:25 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com

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