Mosquito spraying underway in Clanton

Published 4:58 pm Friday, June 11, 2010

Clanton recently began its daily spraying efforts to combat mosquitoes this summer.

Street and sanitation superintendent Dale Collins said city employees started in early May. They will cover the whole city, Collins said, including dead-end streets.

Spraying will take place on Mondays and Thursdays between 5-10 p.m. The days will only change in the case of severe weather or a holiday.

They run two trucks approximately 100 miles apiece each night, spraying a floating vapor made of a mixture of chemicals and mineral oil. Collins said the city usually spends approximately $1,300 per month for just the spray. Trucks and manpower add to that cost.

Collins said mosquitoes were not as prevalent during the first part of the summer, but their presence is now getting “rougher.” He said if they could only pinpoint the gender of the insects, they’d make serious strides.

“The males don’t bite you,” he said. “If we could figure out which ones were females, we’d just kill all of the females.”

Mosquitoes often move toward bushes, shaded areas and places with water, such as swimming pools, Collins said.

The city is waiting to see how much of a nuisance the mosquitoes will be this year, but Collins hasn’t noticed a large difference between this year and previous ones. He said the high amount of rain this year could lead to a higher population.

He singled out City Park, Goose Pond Park, Clanton Villa, Bent Creek and Thompson Avenue as locations where he thinks mosquitoes will likely be a problem. He said they’ll likely spray a little extra in areas with higher populations of children and elderly people, who are most affected by any disease a mosquito could carry.

“We’ll go up and down every street in town,” he said.”

Those with swimming pools or other bodies of water surrounding their homes can purchase pellet treatments at hardware stores to place in the water, he said, which will kill the bugs and hinder their breeding process.

He said they spray during dusk and dawn because those are mosquitoes’ most active times. Carbon monoxide emitted from people’s breath along with other fragrances like cologne and perfume often attract mosquitoes, according to Collins.

He suggests people purchase bug sprays with a chemical known as DEET, the active ingredient in many insect repellent products.

Collins said the only recent case of West Nile virus in the Chilton County area arose when a diseased bird was found dead in downtown Clanton four years ago.