City seeks help with mosquito control

Published 4:12 pm Friday, March 23, 2012

The spring and summer months have come again in Greenville and with the warmer days come the never-ending mosquito bites.

The City of Greenville has a plan in place, but it will take an entire community’s effort to keep mosquitoes from breeding and causing a problem in the city.

According to Milton Luckie, Public Works director, about 25 mosquitoes can be produced from the water in  single soda bottle top. In just seven days, hundreds of mosquitoes can be hatched, find more water and multiply.

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“Seven days – that’s when they lay eggs, start flying out and go find water,” Luckie said. “They like dark shaded areas, and if there is any water, they will breed.”

What the city has done to prepare for the mosquito months is treat stagnate water that may be a prime place for mosquito breeding.

“We have what we call a briquette that we put in stagnate water that treats the water for 30 or 90 days,” Luckie said. “We go to any place that holds water, and we put those briquettes in there.”

Luckie will continue to monitor the spots and make a list where each briquette has been placed. The briquette is placed in a PVC pipe that is tied down so it will float on top of the water, and is designed to cut down on the amount of mosquitoes that would want to make stagnant water a breeding ground.

The city will come and spray if a complaint is made about a mosquito problem, but Luckie said many times where there are complaints, there is a great deal of sitting water that people could correct on their own.

Mosquitoes can cause more than just the consistent itch for a few days however. The Alabama Department of Public Health gives information and tips on how to avoid mosquito problems.

According to the health department, mosquitoes can carry and transmit diseases such as Malaria, Dengue, Yellow Fever and Encephalitis (a sleeping sickness).

The life cycle for a mosquito can be completed in 10 days, and only the female mosquito can bite humans and animals. The female needs the protein to produce between 100 and 200 eggs per bite, according to the health department.

The community can help with cutting down on mosquitoes in the city by changing water in birdbaths and wading pools weekly, installing or repairing windows and door screens to keep mosquitoes out, keep outdoor drains flowing freely and drill holes in playground equipment and tire swings that hold water.