City takes aim at

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 23, 2005

mosquito swarm

By Kevin Taylor

Greenville and Butler County are continuing to be haunted by Hurricane Ivan even seven months after the brutal storm raced through in September.

The effects from the hurricane have left area residents itching for help.

And help is already on the way.

Spraying has begun in Greenville to try to control the mosquito problem said Milton Luckie, director of the city of Greenville public works department.

"The mosquitoes are so bad because of the hurricane," he said. "Because of all of the trees that were uprooted, there are cavities with water standing there. And that's a perfect place for mosquitoes."

Spraying began Thursday night on the east side of town. The public works department also sprayed on the south side of town on Friday. Spraying will continue on Monday on the west side and then the north side on Tuesday.

Luckie said spraying will be done five nights a week until he sees results.

City taxpayers will also bear a heavier financial burden because more pesticide will be needed this year.

Luckie said that the city spent almost $8,000 on Malathion, which is an insecticide used to kill mosquitoes. But he said the city will easily pay more than $10,000 for the insecticide this year.

Malathion can be used for mosquito control programs without posing unreasonable risks to the general population when applied according to the label, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

But Luckie said that if anyone is allergic to the insecticide or sleeps with the windows open, should call the public works office so that it does not spray near that person's residence.

And standing water is a perfect place for mosquitoes to breed. Luckie said that a soda bottle cap of water is capable of producing up to 25 mosquitoes.

"People just have to be smart when it comes to standing water," Luckie said. "If you have a birdbath, dump out the water. If you have a baby pool and are no longer using it, dump out the water."

Practically anything that can hold water is a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Tips to avoid mosquito infestation:

Trim back your hedges.

Keep your yard cut

Throw away or dump out anything that can hold water.

Keep swimming pools treated with the proper chemicals.

Poor out baby pools when they are not in use.