By Karen Middleton
If city residents are swatting at a few mosquitoes it’s not for lack of the Athens Street Department trying to keep your neighborhood pest free.
Public Works Manager James Rich said vector control efforts have been underway since late May because of an unusually wet late spring and summer.
“We spray Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights,” said Rich. “Working three nights a week, we cover the entire city once every week.”
Rich said the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and the EPA require weekly samplings to target needed areas for spraying.
“Last year with the drought we didn’t meet sampling numbers for three weeks,” said Rich. “But this week and every week since May we’ve met the numbers.”
Rich said the Street Department would not spray if winds are greater than 10 mph or if it is raining.
Rich advised residents to: visit www.athensal.us/, go to the list of departments at the left of the screen, click on Street Department, scroll to the bottom and click on “Vector control” for a map that highlights what neighborhoods will be spayed on which night.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control offer tips for keeping your property free of mosquito breeding areas.
An important part of mosquito control around your home is making sure mosquitoes don’t have a place to lay their eggs. Because mosquitoes need water for two stages of their life cycle, it’s important to monitor standing water sources.
• Get rid of standing water in rain gutters, old tires, buckets, plastic covers, toys or any other container where mosquitoes can breed.
• Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels and potted plant trays at least once a week to eliminate potential mosquito habitats.
• Drain temporary pools of water or fill with dirt.
• Keep swimming pool water treated and circulating.