Tuesday morning, Mayor Ann Bradshaw met with Joe Davidson of Mosquitoes & More, to discuss the potential of mosquito infestation in the city, and a pro-active plan to combat the problem or prevent one from occurring.
"She was very concerned for the citizens safety," Davidson said.
At the mayor's request, Davidson took water samples from different sites around the city to see if there were any problem areas. The sample taken from the Growers Co-op retention pond showed a large amount of eggs, larvae and young mosquitoes present in that area.
"I'm here to spray the retention pond and prevent this batch from hatching," Davidson said. "The mayor doesn't want any residents sick and neither do I."
Mosquitoes can carry several diseases such as heartworm, West Nile, malaria and encephalitis. Their bites can cause an allergic reaction that may lead to intense itching and possible infection from scratching that itch.
"We're lucky we don't live in the tropic," Davidson said. "They have twice as many mosquito-caused diseases, and several of those can kill you."
Davidson will be spraying Agnique MMF, a larvicide and pupicide on the retention pond.
"Basically, this will suffocate them," Davidson said. "The way their life cycle goes, the pupae molt and shed their shell and then they float to the top of the water. This is their most vulnerable time. Wind and water currents can be deadly then. The male hatches first and waits to breed with the female. The female needs blood for protein in order to lay her eggs. She lays 200-400 eggs at a time. If you get them on the top of the water, before they can breed, they're done for."
According to Davidson, it takes seven-to-10 days to go from egg to full fledged mosquito. That's a pretty quick process, and means that residents should take some precautions of their own to keep the mosquito population down around their own home. He recommends that you empty out any standing water, old tires, buckets, and even bird-baths.
"Mosquitoes need extremely calm water to breed, so fountains and such that have running water are safe," Davidson said.
Other advice offered was to clean out rain gutters, take proper precautions with swimming pools and children's pools, store buckets, tubs, vases, boats and wheelbarrows upside down and fill in tree-rot holes and hollow stumps.
"The goal is to keep residents as safe as possible, even from mosquitoes," Mayor Bradshaw said. "If anyone notices a large population of mosquitoes, they can call my office (443-2221) and we'll send someone to investigate. I have an open door policy, and it's even open in case of mosquitoes."