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The City of Pierre Parks Department will begin its mosquito control operations for the 2017 summer season tonight with fogging operations in residential areas. Larviciding efforts, killing mosquitos before they hatch, began in April, and fogging for adult mosquitos will be ongoing based on citizen complaints and mosquito trap counts.
The city uses a three-pronged approach to reduce the mosquito population. This includes removal of stagnant water to eliminate mosquito breeding habitats, larviciding to kill mosquitos before they hatch, and adulticiding to eliminate adult mosquitos.
Tom Farnsworth, City Parks and Recreation Director, says that citizen partnership is necessary for the program to be successful because the city can only use mosquito mitigation tactics on public land.
“The most effective way to eliminate mosquitos is to eliminate their breeding ground,” said Farnsworth. “City crews can’t touch personal property. So it’s important for our residents to remove standing or stagnant water from their property.”
Farnsworth went on to say bird baths, tire swings, and other outdoor containers that collect water can produce thousands of mosquitos. Additionally, the mosquitos will breed as long as conditions are favorable so Farnsworth says it’s important to continue to remove standing water throughout the summer.
To eliminate mosquitos in parks, at the golf course and in other green space with heavy foliage the city removes the stagnant water it can, uses larvicide to treat the breeding grounds it can’t remove, and then applies a ground spray or fogs the remaining mosquitos.
Fogging is generally done at dusk and can only be done when the wind speed is less than 10 miles per hour. The public is notified via local media when fogging is planned in residential areas.