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Mosquitoes not a problem so far

June 26, 1998|By DAVE McMILLION

Despite a rainy spring that left the area soggy and turned some spots into ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes, the buzzing, biting pests don't seem to have proliferated, in part because the state Department of Agriculture has sprayed to keep their numbers down, officials say.

The Department of Agriculture sprays areas that tend to have problems with mosquitoes, officials said.

This year, the Spring Valley area, Paradise Homes, North Brook Estates and Highland View Academy have been sprayed for mosquitoes, said Mike Cantwell, entomologist with the State Department of Agriculture.

Property around Highland View Academy also has been treated, said Cantwell.

In the spring, technicians check standing water in low-lying areas for larvae. If larvae are detected, the water is treated, mostly with a naturally occurring bacteria that kills the larvae, Cantwell said.

Adult mosquitoes are sprayed with a mixture of permethrin, a pesticide, and mineral oil. The mixture also contains the chemical piperonyl butoxide, said Cantwell.

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The mixture has been determined safe by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, officials said.

Officials in other parts of the Tri-State area say they have not had serious mosquito problems.

Despite the wet spring, a dry period about a month ago may have slowed down the population, said Craig Yohn, extension agent in Jefferson County, W.Va.

Mary Beth Bennett, extension agent in Berkeley County, W.Va., said she has not noticed many problems with the biting insects.

"You really think there would be. I haven't received any complaints," said Thomas Mohler, mosquito coordinator at the Frederick County (Md.) Health Department.

Mosquitoes lay eggs in low-lying areas. When the areas flood, the eggs hatch, said Cantwell.




Tips on containing mosquitoes

Following are some tips to help keep mosquitoes from taking over your yard.

- Discard old tires or containers that can hold water. Mosquitoes thrive in stagnant water.
- Drain areas on land where water is standing.
- if standing water is on adjacent property, spray the perimeter of your yard.
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