Pender County fights battle against mosquitoes
Mosquitoes – meet your worst nightmare. Pender County Public Works employees Ronnie Huggins and James Turner man the trucks used to spray for the irritating insects. Too much wind prohibited them from their rounds Wednesday night.
“We like to have it pretty calm so we can spray it out,” said Turner, Mosquito Control Field Supervisor. “The more it stays in the air, the mosquitoes fly through it and it will kill a lot of mosquitoes.”
They are taking it one step further than just spraying. “We set out traps once a week, count the mosquitoes, see what types they are, and check them out under the microscope,” said Pender County Public Works Director Paul Parker.
Turner says up to 40 different kinds of mosquitoes have been found in Pender County, and he’s gotten to know them well. “A tiger mosquito is kind of a rough mosquito, he likes to bite you in the daytime and he’s very aggressive.”
Burgaw residents who are tormented by the bothersome bugs are thankful to hear the patrol is out in full force. Palmetta Clayton said, “They’re kind of rough. If you go sit outside and you’re in trouble.”
The county is also trying to educate the public. At day camp, kids are becoming “Skeeter Defeaters”, learning how to avoid breeding mosquitoes at home, like in stagnant water. Through efforts like this, they hope to minimizing mosquitoes, and prevent the spread of diseases they carry.
The Public Works employees said the spray they use is not harmful to humans, but still, they don’t spray near children, bees, or ponds.
They also have ten chickens they regularly blood test, as an indicator of any diseases mosquitoes may be bringing into the area.
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