The City of Homewood

MOSQUITO POLICY

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Mosquito Policy

ATTACK Mosquito larvae

 

The Jefferson County Stormwater Program is giving out free mosquito larvicide "dunks". For more information contact Lyn Diclemente @ (205) 325-8741. And for more information about health related mosquito information visit: www.jcdh.org

 

What are they?" - Mosquito Dunks have been used by professionals for years and have proven their value in destroying mosquitoes – by killing the larvae before they mature into biting adults.

 

Made with Bt-israelensis (Bt-i), a highly specific biological pesticide, this product represent a major breakthrough for people and the environment when compared with the traditional toxic chemical approach to mosquito control. Will NOT harm people, pets, wildlife or fish.

 

 

City of Homewood, Alabama Mosquito Policy

 

In the past, mosquito control in Homewood has been exclusively conducted through the use of pesticides sprayed from a truck in the city streets.  The current science of mosquito control now concludes that this type of program is not only ineffective in reducing mosquito populations, but may even leave behind mosquitoes that are increasingly resistant to current chemical agents.

 

Furthermore mosquito spraying is dangerous to vulnerable citizens - children, the elderly, those with respiratory and other ailments. Additionally long-term low-level pesticide exposure from multiple sources contributes to negative human health impacts.  Cities and other municipalities have faced costly lawsuits resulting from relatively minor errors in the use of these substances.  Finally, studies show that while the pesticides in mosquito spraying applications reach only a tiny fraction of the adult mosquito population, they are much more detrimental to the beneficial insects that serve useful purposes in a healthy community.

 

As a result of these issues – ineffectiveness, risk to human health, exposure to liability, harm to the environment – the City of Homewood is promoting citizen education and personal responsibility as the most prudent method of mosquito control.

 

An informed public will better understand how they can take action to reduce mosquito bites.

Mosquito larvae or "wrigglers" must live in still water for five or more days to complete their growth before changing into adult biting mosquitoes. Often, the number of mosquitoes in an area can be reduced by removing sources of standing water around residences. For example, hundreds of mosquitoes can come from a single discarded tire.

 

There is no known plan that has ever been successful in completely eradicating mosquitoes.  Mosquitoes are hardy enough that they have been around for many millions of years.  Thus, it will certainly be true that some mosquitoes will still be around Homewood.  The best protection in dealing with the residual mosquito population is a combination of physical barriers (long sleeves) and chemical protection, such as insect-repellent products available in local retail outlets.

 

Given the hardiness and persistence of mosquitoes, we know that we will still have to deal with some number of them.  We can, however, encourage many of them to find other habitats by making Homewood a less hospitable place for mosquitoes to live and reproduce.  We do this by greatly reducing their breeding opportunities and by providing natural predators that are indigenous to the area.

 

For further information about pesticides visit:  http://npic.orst.edu/pest/mosquito/control.html

 

The West Homewood neighborhood association Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/westhomewoodna/  has contacted several mosquito treatment companies and interested citizens received  a rate of $25 per monthly spraying  during summer months.  About 40 homes have utilized the program and say the results have been significant.

 

 

 

A Citizen’s Guide to Mosquito Control

 

1. Get rid of old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles or any water-holding containers.

2. Maintain drains, ditches, and culverts so water will drain properly.

3. Keep roof gutters free of leaves and other debris.

4. Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store indoors when not in use.

5. Drain unused swimming pools and keep them dry during the mosquito season.

6. Change the water in birdbaths and plant pots or drip trays at least once each week.

7. Store boats covered or upside down, or remove rainwater weekly.

8. Make sure ornamental ponds are well maintained, and are stocked with fish.

9. Repair window screens.

10. Use personal protection measures to prevent mosquito bites (proper use of insect repellent and appropriate clothing).  A simple fan creating a breeze around outdoor seating areas will help keep mosquitoes away.

11.  Encourage dragonflies and birds to locate in your yard, both are known predators of mosquitos.

12. Some mosquitoes are attracted to lights. Reduce unnecessary lighting to make yards less attractive.

13."Bug zappers" do not reduce mosquito landing or biting. They attract and kill many insects but few are mosquitoes that attack humans. Many of the insects killed are beneficial because they feed on Garden pests.

14.Ultrasonic devices, such as those that claim to mimic dragonflies, do not affect mosquito activity.

15.Light-colored clothing is less attractive to adult mosquitoes. Tightly woven fabrics give some protection against biting. .