Parish SMACKDOWN on icky mosquitoes

March 14, 2007 at 4:48 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Insects fear Doug Hanson, left, and James Dufrene of SCP’s mosquito control office.
Photo: Derek Clontz
Insects fear Doug Hanson, left, and James Dufrene of SCP’s mosquito control office.
St. Charles Parish is taking aim at pesky mosquitoes this year with special bug-gobbling fish and new high-tech sprayers.

Steve Phazlovich, insect expert for St. Charles Parish, advises residents living near standing water to get a free supply of ‘gambusia fish’ - they eat mosquitoes like nobody’s business.

“We give them away to anyone who needs them,” he told the Herald-Guide.

“Residents can place the fish in a pond or fountain, or wherever their is a collection of water in their yard.”

Phazlovich said the parish has purchased a new truck and also upgraded four others with futuristic computerized sprayers.

“The mosquito control trucks shoot blasts of spray between two and 22 miles per hour,” Phazlovich said.

“The computer tracks mosquitoes a couple of times per second and adjusts the volume of spray accordingly.

“It’s very precise when it comes to the application of the insectiside,” he continued.

Phazlovich alerts residents about leaving empty litter in their back yards that can collect rain water and could potentially become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

“Containers, bird baths, a bucket sitting next to the house, a broken pipe underneath someone’s home that’s dropping raw sewage, could be harboring mosquitoes that transmit the West Nile or encephalitis viruses,” he said.

“Highly susceptible areas like these often breed mosquitoes carrying infectious disease.”

Tommy Herdon, manager of the mosquito-control office, said spraying will begin every night at 7:15 and will last about two hours.

“We normally spray at 6:00 in the evening, but because of daylight savings time we will start an hour later.”

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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