Perry, Dawson enjoy benefits of new mosquito-control sprayer

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The city of Perry is continuing the program of spraying for mosquitoes that started in late May, with a city crew spraying every Thursday evening, weather permitting, or on Friday or Saturday evening.

Perry City Administrator Sven Peterson said the city’s new electric insecticide sprayer operates much more quietly than the previous sprayer.

“The old sprayer used a gas-powered engine and was a whole lot louder,” Peterson said. “The city’s new model is quieter and can also adjust the direction of the spray, so if the truck passes a line of trees, for example, the spray can be pointed toward the trees.”

A GPS unit in the new sprayer senses the speed of the sprayer truck and adjusts the amount of insecticide to the velocity of the vehicle.

The city of Dawson will also enjoy the advantages of the new sprayer thanks to a contract approved by the Perry City Council at its last meeting of the fiscal year, which ended June 30. According to the agreement, Dawson will pay Perry $180 “for each adulticide mosquito control application requested on a per-call basis.”

In addition, “larvacide mosquito control will be provided if needed at a cost determined by the amount of standing water,” according to the agreement between the cities. The city of Perry will provide to the city of Dawson a bid for the cost of the larvacide.”

This is an Aedes albopictus female mosquito obtaining a blood meal from a human host. Source: Purdue University Extension Service
This is an Aedes albopictus female mosquito obtaining a blood meal from a human host. Source: Purdue University Extension Service

Wet weather creates pools of standing water, which is prime breeding habitat for mosquitoes. Residents can reduce the mosquito population by draining any standing water in planters, buckets, water barrels, stopped-up gutters, tires and similar breeding grounds.

Residents should check for standing water at least weekly during wet weather. Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water, but it takes seven to 10 days for the eggs to hatch. By minimizing the amount of standing water, the mosquito population can be somewhat controlled.

Because some spots cannot easily be drained, the city asks residents to report any areas where water consistently collects by calling  the Perry Street Department at 515-465-2675. The Street Department can treat the standing water with a chemical that will keep mosquito larvae from maturing.

There is no way to eliminate mosquitoes entirely, according to health experts, who recommend wearing repellent, particularly in the early morning and in the cool of the evening when mosquitoes are most active.

For more information, call the Perry City Hall at 515-465-2481.

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