Environmental control has the county covered - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Environmental control has the county covered

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August 16, 2006

Albany-- We've experienced a welcome increase of rain across South Georgia but more rain can mean more mosquitoes and that can be dangerous.

Just this week, we found out an Albany woman became the first person in Georgia this year to contract West Nile virus, a disease spread by mosquitoes. County workers are working hard to keep you safe.  

Heavy rains along with up and down temperatures are perfect conditions for mosquitoes. "Since we've gotten a bit of rain down, mosquitoes have increased," says Environmental Control Manager Donnell Mathis.

They've kept Dougherty County Environmental Control workers busy.  Even at night, they're spraying away. "We're spraying five nights a week, five hours a night," says Mathis. They're also spraying several hours during the day.  Control Manager Donnell Mathis doesn't mind the work.

"I enjoy my job," says Mathis. He's been rolling through neighborhoods off and on for more than a decade. He says more recently, the population of mosquitoes has gotten worse and by spraying this mallathion in areas, they don't get out of control.

"The spread of the spray is 300 feet," says Mathis. And he isn't the only one spraying the mist.  A total of four trucks cover the east, west, north and south. "We're leaving nobody out," says Mathis.

It's important, especially with a recent case of West Nile in the county. "We know West Nile Virus is here and we know it's here to stay so to me it's a normal thing but there's some things we can do to prevent virus ourselves," says Mathis.

In other words, don't just rely on the spray for protection.  Be proactive and look out for standing water around your home.  It's the perfect breeding environment for mosquitoes. But this mosquito man is added protection.

"It just pleases me to know I'm doing something to help someone else or to keep West Nile Virus down," says Mathis.

When you see him rolling down your street day or night, just know he's leaving behind the cure for the common mosquito. You should expect to see him even more if the rain gets worse.

Environmental Control also covers some ponds with a special film that doesn't allow mosquitoes to breed. Around your home, make sure you regularly clean bird baths and change your pet's water.

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