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Mosquito spraying could be cut in 2010

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on April 22, 2009 1:46 PM

The city of Goldsboro might eliminate the mosquito control chemical spraying program in 2010-11, according to a proposed first draft of the 2009-10 Goldsboro city budget.

The state of North Carolina will not provide funding for city mosquito control spraying this year, and spraying is not the most effective way to prevent mosquitoes, Chief Building Inspector Ed Cianfarra said.

"The state has taken away all the subsidy money for mosquito spraying. The problem is it's a very expensive program because of the cost per gallon of the chemicals," he said.

Eliminating the program would save the city $37,276, or possibly closer to $50,000, factoring in the $10.50 an hour Goldsboro paid the four spray truck drivers last summer, Cianfarra said.

The spray from the trucks must actually hit the mosquitos to kill them, and even then, spraying works better as a dispersion tactic rather than a control method, he said.

However, that does not mean the city would completely stop mosquito control efforts. The city will continue putting pellets of bioengineered pesticide in ponds and other bodies of standing water in the city limits.

The pellet distribution is "the single biggest action we have that's most effective, it stops them in the larval stage. I do not want to stop that part of the program," Cianfarra said.

The pesticide does not harm the environment or other insects or animals, but destroys mosquito larvae before they can even fly.

"It's engineered just to deform the eggs that are laid in the standing water. It destroys the egg," he said.

Any place with standing water, even just a birdbath or plant container in the back yard, can encourage mosquito populations. Getting rid of standing water around homes can help control the problem, Cianfarra said.