Health & Medical Guide

Biting the hand that feeds you

By Kristen Miller, Staff Writer

Most communities within the area have a system in place for mosquito control, whether it be through the city itself or through an outside contractor.

The City of Howard Lake uses its own equipment to spray for mosquitoes once a week, using its own equipment, while the City of Winsted hires an outside company, Professional Mosquito Control out of Clearwater, to spray the city streets every other week.

Professional Mosquito Control uses a truck mount with ultra low volume sprayers and applies a small mist-like fog when mosquitoes are most active from dusk to midnight, according to Brian Musech of Professional Mosquito Control.

To ensure there is not many people on the roads and in their yards, the city waits until about 9:30 p.m. to begin fogging. If crews do come across people, they will shut off the fogger and resume spraying when they’ve passed. This will go every other week into September. The spraying frequency depends on the conditions.

Montrose uses a system that kills mosquitoes before they hatch or become mature.

Roger Vanderlinde with Montrose Public Works drops round pellets into holding ponds, standing water, ditches and wet man holes around the town every two to three weeks, depending on the weather.

He also sprays with a truck mount fogger once a week using a safe and effective product, he said.

“I’ve had nothing but good reports — that it does take care of the mosquitoes,” Vanderlinde said.

The City of Mayer is under a metropolitan mosquito control program.

Lester Prairie, Dassel, and Cokato do not spray unless conditions call for it.

Dassel will spray for special events like Red Rooster Days, contracting the City of Litchfield to do so.

“Last year there wasn’t much of a problem,” said Dassel Public Works Director Dave Scepaniak. “Dassel just hasn’t gotten to the point where it would need a fogger with a truck mount.”

Mosquito prevention can be as simple as cleaning up your own back yard, according to Ed Meehan of Howard Lake. He recommends mowing tall grass and removing standing water. Clogged gutters are also a breeding ground for mosquitoes, according to Meehan.

Along with mosquitoes comes the risk of West Nile and other mosquito causing viruses.

Scepaniak sprays his own backyard with “Mosquito Be Gone,” hooked up to a garden hose. It lasts up to a week or better, he said.

Mosquito Control out of Watertown services for events and private residents by using a product called Bifenthrin which has a low toxicity to humans, pets and kids, according to owner Rich Lorentzen.

Using a backpack sprayer or backpack blower, which is more like a fogger, Lorentzen and his crew walk around the area that give a barrier spray that lasts up to 21 days.

For stagnant water where hatching occurs, Lorentzen uses BTI granules also called “mosquito dunks” which control larvae before hatching.

Some of his customers have a full season package where he will spray areas every three weeks.

This year, it’s been an average to less-than-average season for mosquitoes, Lorentzen said, but whenever there is rain, the numbers increase.

Published August 2006

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