The first day of mosquito spraying has wrapped up in Valdosta. It’s the earliest start date for the spraying in the Azalea City's history. The recent rains have forced the city to increase their anti-mosquito efforts.
For several straight days last week our region was slammed with strong thunderstorms which dumped several inches of rain. Biologist say all that rain created countless mosquito breeding grounds.
Mark Blackmore, Ph.D., a VSU biology professor, says, "It’s not real early for us to get mosquitoes. It’s about the right time of year, and when you get as much rain as we have, you expect to see a lot of spring species of mosquitoes come out, and people will really start to notice them now and in the next few weeks."
That's why the city of Valdosta is starting its anti-mosquito spraying efforts now, nearly one month earlier than normal. City officials say getting the trucks on the streets of Valdosta and the sprayers killing mosquitoes is very important to protect the health and well-being of all Valdostans.
Eugene Phillips, who oversees Valdosta mosquito spraying, says, "We want to do the best we can to try and protect people, but we're just spraying on the streets. We need homeowners to look out for standing water."
In addition to eliminating standing water, local folks are advised to protect themselves against mosquito bites.
Blackmore adds, "It’s always good to minimize your exposure by covering up as best you can."
Combined with a good mosquito repellant, officials hope to avoid any human contractions of dangerous mosquito diseases like Eastern Equine Encephalitis or West Nile.
Anti-mosquito spraying efforts are expected to begin in other cities and counties around our region over the next four weeks.