07/26/05 — It's even too hot for mosquitoes

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It's even too hot for mosquitoes

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on July 26, 2005 1:53 PM

It's so hot these days that even the mosquitoes are taking it easy.

"Really, this heat has been a godsend as far as mosquitoes," said Goldsboro's Chief Building Inspector Ed Cianfarra. "The mosquitoes just don't fly when the temperatures get above 90 degrees."

The Inspection Depart-ment is in charge of the mosquito spraying program in the city. Weather permitting, the city sprays twice a day, five days a week, between April and September.

"We're still spraying, but because of the heat this month has actually been wonderful in terms of the mosquito population," Cianfarra said.

He said that he expects that to change by the end of August, or beginning of September.

"Two things might save us," Cianfarra said. "If we get a bad storm with high winds, that will keep the bugs down. Or, if we have an early fall."

The entire city is sprayed about one and a half times a week, Cianfarra said.

There's a pre-set amount of chemicals released into the neighborhoods. Cianfarra said that the machines and the trucks were calibrated by the state to make sure they're not spraying too much or too little.

The mosquitoes must be flying to be killed by the spray.

"The spray we're using is a contact killer," Cianfarra explained. "So the fog, as it drifts will bump into the mosquito. The fine droplets land on leaves, but it won't kill the mosquito later. That makes it safe for people, vegetables and animals."

The city uses an odorless, colorless chemical called Bio-Mist to destroy the insects.

People allergic to Bio-Mist can call the city Inspection Department at 580-4346 to keep the sprayers away from their homes.

Besides spraying the city streets, Cianfarra said, his department also puts special tablets in large pools of stagnant water.

Water left behind after days of rain can turn many areas into prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes, he noted.

"Anywhere there is a pond of standing water, we throw in the tablets," Cianfarra said. "My employees are taking the tablets with them when they go out, so if they see standing water they can take care of it right away."

The tablet, which is only effective in standing water, stops the mosquito eggs from developing. The tablet is not harmful to other animals.

Cianfarra said that people could cut down on the mosquito population by getting rid of containers full of stagnant water.

"A bird bath, tires, or even that little cup underneath a plant, are all breeding grounds for mosquitoes," he said. "A mosquito can lay up to 5,000 eggs a week."