Kill the bugs, avoid Zika

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – This season is in full swing: April through October, when grass, gutters, and bushes become breeding ground for mosquitoes.

We know they’re coming. And they can sure sense us.

“They can detect the carbon dioxide coming off your body up to 90 feet away,” says Richmond County Mosquito Control Agent Fred Koehle. “So, if we’re standing here right now, if there’s one by that front door, they know we’re here.”

If you don’t want mosquitoes, Fred Koehle and Allen Hillman are here to help you knock them out.

“We can actually treat pools, we have the chemicals to treat that,” Hillman says. “Any ditches, we have the chemicals to treat ditches. Also, we can treat tires.”

Richmond County’s Mosquito Control team is ready to respond if you have a mosquito problem. They are constantly checking areas around town where the pests can populate. This is not your father’s spray truck. The clunky gas sprayer replaced by a more efficient system.

“This machine we bought, it’s an all-electric machine it runs off batteries.”

And when it’s running, down your road, the bugs can only hope to get out of the way.

“It actually goes up a hundred feet in the air, then it progresses toward the ground. The mosquito has to fly through that spray in order to kill the mosquitoes.”

But what if the truck is not enough? That’s where you, the homeowner come in. It’s up to you to make sure your property is properly maintained, so the bugs don’t breed.

“Cut [bushes] back away from the building,” Koehle says. “Give yourself some space in there. Because although this is screened, they’re still going to get in. The problem here is the trees are gonna push on these gutters, and they’re gonna misshape them, so they’re gonna hold water.”

And how many times have you heard about standing water? You have to get rid of every bit of it.

“That much water, a female mosquito can lay anywhere from 75-150 eggs up to five times a day.”

The potential for millions of them–in a very small space.

“You think there’s enough water in this trash can to do any damage?” Yeah probably,” Koehle says. “They’re about a quarter of an inch long. That is larvae that within four to seven days will hatch into an adult. Half will be male. Half will be female. Good luck.”

Pipes, paint cans–there are so many places with potential to collect water and infest your yard.

“If there’s anything moving in there, it’s mosquito larvae.”

And while you make sure your home is safe, don’t forget about yourself. Your safety is just a few sprays away.

“Wear a repellent all the time when you’re outside. Especially in the morning. An hour on either side of dawn and an hour on either side of sunset, because that’s most of these mosquitoes are active.”

Pretty simple steps to make sure you enjoy the summer season, while Fred, Allen and their  team work to make sure our mosquito concerns stay under control.

Mosquito Control Advice from the Georgia Department of Public Health

How to eliminate mosquito breeding areas by the Georgia Department of Public Health

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