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Mosquitoes causing a buzz

By DAVID TEWES
July 8, 2010 at 2:08 a.m.


TIPS TO FIGHT MOSQUITOES

Doug Cochran, Victoria's director of parks and recreation, recommends checking the yard to spot potential mosquito breeding grounds.

"It takes the whole community to work together to try to eradicate mosquitoes," he said.

Tips he offered include:

Change out rain water being collected or put a cover on it.

Change out bird baths daily.

Tip out water pots for plants.

Low spots can be filled with dirt or treated with larvacide from farm-and-ranch stores.

That irritating buzzing sound from the recent outbreak of mosquitoes in the Crossroads has crews scampering to deal with the problem.

But the rain and wind have interfered with those efforts, bringing the operations to a halt.

"The most significant deterrent for us is the wind," said Doug Cochran, director of parks and recreation for Victoria. "When the wind is over 10 mph, we can't spray."

Workers began spraying the city on Wednesday and got about one-third of Victoria covered before the rain and wind from a tropical depression moved into the area.

Cindy Shilinga with the Victoria County Health Department said efforts to deal with mosquitoes in the more populated areas outside the city have also been halted by the weather.

"You just never know if it's going to be raining in Inez or Bloomington," she said. "It could be raining in one part of the county and not another."

The city typically starts spraying for mosquitoes at four strategic locations in northwest, northeast, southeast and southwest parts of Victoria. The crews then work toward the central part of the city.

It takes about three days to cover the city.

"At the first opportunity, we'll get back out there," Cochran said. "We're ready, willing and able."

Shilinga said she expects county crews will resume spraying of the 11 routes Friday morning, if it's not raining. "Usually I can get most of the county done almost twice within four or five days, depending on manpower."

She said workers will probably also begin treating standing water Saturday morning to kill mosquito larvae.

Cochran said the city will wait until the water quits running in creeks and other waterways before they are treated for larvae. That could take up to a day after the rain ends, he said.

"We try to reduce the mosquito population," Cochran said. "We can't eliminate it."

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