Mosquito season has started
Appeal Staff Writer
Mosquito season should be short this year, according to experts.
With conditions being drier than usual, there’s less water for the pests to breed in, said Teresa Hayes, the Carson City environmental health specialist.
The first major aerial spraying to control mosquitoes was conducted last week, according to Carson City Health and Human Services.
Sites treated include Andersen Ranch, Silver Saddle Ranch, Carson River, Riverview Park, Lakeview and an area south of the minimum-security state prison.
Altosid, also known by its generic name Methoprene, is an insecticide and growth regulator. It affects mosquitoes and other insects in their egg and larvae stages so they can’t reproduce, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Though more standing water and puddles mean a longer birthing season, dry conditions won’t mean there won’t be mosquitoes. If they are breeding in standing water that’s unusually shallow, they’ll adapt to survive, she said.
The goal is to treat the areas at just the right time, so fewer are born to bite and spread diseases, such as West Nile Virus.
Hayes believes this could be accomplished this season. Subsequent sprays will occur every 28 days until mosquito season is over, which is commonly in September.
Gambusia Affinis, better known as mosquito fish, can also help control infestations by dining on the larvae. Hayes relocated some of these fish from Eagle Valley Creek to a couple of other local waterways to see if they could help control the mosquitoes. She has been carefully monitoring how they are adapting to their new habitats.
Hayes said she’s happy to report that she has seen some of the small guppy-like creatures swimming in new areas.
The dry ground also translates into fewer of the mosquito fish, however. People going out to areas and removing the fish themselves can damage the surrounding habitat and endanger other animals and plants, she emphasized.
And a state permit is required to move fish from one waterway to another, according to the Nevada Division of Wildlife.
Neither the spray nor the fish kill adult mosquitoes, but Hayes’ ultimate aim is to eventually eliminate the need for chemical applications in the areas where mosquitoes are most likely to breed.
People across the city are asked to report mosquito conditions they encounter to Hayes. These observations are important and she could use more reports, she said.
Call 887-2190 for details about reporting on mosquito conditions and for information about mosquito fish. Hayes can look at specific areas to see whether the fish would be an appropriate tool for controlling the pests.
• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.
Call 887-2190 for details about reporting on mosquito conditions and for information about mosquito fish. Teresa Hayes, Carson City environmental health specialist, can look at specific areas to see whether the fish would be appropriate for controlling mosquitoes.
Also get rid of any collected water or puddles around the home so mosquitoes won’t have a place to breed.
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