County to spray for mosquitoes at night

OKEECHOBEE — Local authorities in Okeechobee County have announced that adult mosquito control applications will take between dusk and dawn, as conditions warrant. These applications will help reduce the nuisance and public health threat posed by mosquitoes this summer.

Spraying will commence on Friday, Aug. 2, including the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Adulticiding attacks adult mosquitoes with a truck-mounted application of ultra-low volume spray.

“Adulticiding treatments are needed when mosquito populations are at bothersome levels or indicate the presence of mosquito-borne illness, such as West Nile Virus and the Zika virus,” said Mitch Smeykal, emergency management director. According to Mr Smeykal, all insecticides used have been approved specifically for this purpose and are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, if people wish to avoid potential exposure to insecticide they should stay indoors and close the windows during spraying hours.

Residents can take several steps to reduce mosquito populations around their homes this summer, including:
• Remove or empty standing water in old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles or other places where mosquitoes might breed.
• Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store indoors when not in use. If unused, drain swimming pools and keep dry.
• Change water weekly in bird baths, plant saucers and trays.
• Store boats covered or upside down.
• Water bowls used by pets should be emptied and refilled daily.
• Fill holes around home that may retain water.
• Keep gutters around home in good repair to avoid water build-up.
• Keep weeds and grass cut short, as adult mosquitoes look for shady places to rest during hot daylight hours.
• Be sure screens in homes are intact and tight-fitting to prevent entry of insects.

To report high concentrations of mosquito, residents can call the Clarke Mosquito Hotline at 1-800-203-6485.

You can also contact Mr. Smeykal at the Okeechobee County Division of Emergency Management, at 863-763-3212, for more information.

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