Athens Changes Mosquito Control

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ATHENS – The Environmental Protection Agency and Alabama Department of Environmental Management have changed regulations regarding mosquito control.

Street Department Manager Dolph Bradford said the new regulations prevent the city from doing a citywide spraying program as it has done in the past.

This year, the city has to conduct a landing count to determine if there are enough mosquitoes in an area. If there are enough to spray, the city can only spray that specified area.

“The regulations are stricter. You have to prove you have a justification for spraying, such as the landing count, and we can be fined if we don’t adhere to that,” Bradford said. “We also had to undergo certification to continue a spray program.”

The city can conduct a landing count each day. Residents who know of a problem area can contact the city by calling 256-233-8747.

Bradford said the EPA and ADEM will allow the city to use larvicide when workers find standing water. The larvicide kills the eggs, and Bradford said this is the mosquito control method the EPA and ADEM prefer. 

To prevent mosquitoes on your property, Bradford suggests the following:

● Dispose of old buckets, cans, bottles and jars that can hold water.

● Repair leaky pipes and keep drains and gutters unclogged.

● Change water in bird baths and pet watering dishes frequently and scrub them each time.

● Properly discard of unused tires.

● Turn wheelbarrows, tubs and wading pools upside down when not in use.

● Keep weeds, vines and grass trimmed.

● Fill tree holes with sand or mortar so water can’t collect in them.