Fogging for mosquitoes begins this week

A month ago Cache Mosquito Abatement District (CMAD) workers began checking areas of standing water for mosquito larvae and found high numbers present. This week CMAD has scheduled fogging in the evenings, first in Petersboro, West Smithfield, Benson and Lewiston. Weather can force a change in plans, as it did Monday. “If it rains, if it is too windy or if the air temperature is below 50 degrees, it can negate the effect of the spray,” said CMAD spokesperson Terrie Wierenga. Wierenga said the process of larvaciding was started in early May this year. “That is when we try to kill them while they are still in the water hatching,” she said. “Field workers go throughout the valley and take samples from standing pools of water. If they see mosquito larvae in that water, they will treat it.” This spring’s unusual weather has forced a delay in fogging. Wierenga said last year CMAD starting fogging operations May 24. “We use a product called Malathion which has been approved for use since 1956. We follow EPA and OSHA guidelines and we only use about half the recommended dose. In our fogging here in the valley here we only use about five ounces per acre.” Wierenga said typically fogging must take place between the first of June to the first or middle of September. “It depends on how hot things stay or if there are a lot of storms. We do surveillance, checking once a week the 18 mosquito traps set throughout the district. If there are 150-200 mosquitoes in a trap that’s a sign there is a large concentration of adults in that area.” Wierenga said there is one consolation regarding any mosquitoes biting those in the Cache Valley right now: the current species is not the one that carries the West Nile Virus. It’s the Culex species that carries West Nile. “They generally start peaking around late-July and into August.” Changes in the fogging schedule in the valley will be posted regularly at www.cachemosquito.com.

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