Juror: Public expects too much from spray program
At Tuesday's Webster Parish Police Jury Road Committee Meeting, District 3 juror Daniel Thomas was concerned that citizens understand how the WPPJ insecticide spray program works.
"I think most people expect this to accomplish a lot more than it does," Thomas said. "People think it's going to help them under their carports, behind their house and it's not."
Thomas said he wants citizens to have realistic expectations of the spraying and know it is not going to affect their yards significantly or at all.
"I had a lady call this week, a very sweet lady. The mosquitoes are so bad that her little chickens are dying. She said 'y'all got to spray more, my chickens are dying.' And I told her what we do is not going to affect that," Thomas said.
The trucks spray a contact insecticide mixture that leaves a residue which lasts for only a few days, according to Thomas. Without wind, the mixture doesn't travel far.
"It basically covers the roads and the ditches," WPPJ Public Works Director Teddy Holloway said. "It's a contact (poison) so it has to get on (the bugs) to work."
He did say that a lucky wind might blow it farther and onto someone's property but not to count on luck.
According to Holloway, WPPJ sprays on all parish rights-of-way. It takes about two weeks for the trucks to run their rounds.
"When they're done, it's time to start again," he said.
Holloway said they don't have the resources to respond to individual citizen requests for additional spraying, however for special outdoor events the trucks will spray to help keep pests under control.
"The trucks are spraying in Heflin right now (Friday) for the sawmill festival," Holloway said.
Most municipalities handle their own spraying, and may use different chemicals. Also WPPJ cannot spray on state highways due to liability issues according to WPPJ President Charles Walker.
Thomas said that with the mild and wet winter mosquitoes are worse than usual, but he cautioned that citizens would have to do their own part to keep them at bay.
"They've got to go to spraying themselves," he said. "That mosquito problem's only going to go away when it gets a lot drier."
Minden Press-Herald has compiled some mosquito control tips from National Pesticide Information Center:
n Regularly empty water from containers such as flowerpots, birdbaths, pet water dishes, cans, gutters, tires and buckets to disrupt the mosquito breeding cycle. Also eliminate standing water if possible.
n Keep screens on windows and doors in good working order to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
n If possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors or consider staying indoors early in the morning and evening when mosquitoes are most active.
n Maintain swimming pools to prevent mosquito breeding, and report abandoned pools to your local health department.
n Use mosquito netting over infants carriers when infants are outdoors.
n Consider using an insect repellent. Be sure to follow the label directions for applying the repellent.
n Insecticides can also be used to help control mosquitoes. Some products are designed to be applied directly to water to control mosquito larvae, while others are used more broadly to control adult mosquitoes.
Visit npic.orst.edu/pest/ mosquito/control.html for more information.