Wet winter and spring precipitate infestation
Carson Valley’s mosquito hunters took to the air on Wednesday and Thursday to try and cut down a bumper crop of the bloodsucking bugs.
Krista Jenkins of the Douglas County Mosquito Abatement District said Frey Spray out of Fallon spread 70 gallons of bug spray across 900 acres over the two days.
“We are focusing on the west side of the Valley,” she said, pointing out that’s the location of most of the Valley’s standing water.
She said pyrethrin is sprayed in small quantities of 4-6 ounces per acre.
Pilot George Pomeroy made the early morning flights in a monoplane owned by Fallon resident Jerry Frey.
Frey said the spray is extracted from the chrysanthemum plant and is used around the world to control mosquito populations.
“People found out back before Christ that an extract of the chrysanthemum plant could kill flying bugs like mosquitoes,” he said. “Now we have a modern way of taking care of them. I’m pretty proud of Douglas County for taking care of their mosquito problem.”
Spraying has to be done while temperatures are in the correct range and when there is little wind, Jenkins said.
“It was really quiet this morning,” she said Wednesday. “We targeted 10 a.m. and then we looked at what we had left and decided to come in and finish Thursday.”
Jenkins said that so far no mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have been trapped in Carson Valley.
She traps every week and sends the mosquitoes off for testing.
“We do monitor the wet spots,” she said. “But West Nile can pop up anywhere. We can’t put monitors on the mosquitoes and find out where they’re from. We’re kind of getting them all over the place.”
A mosquito pool infected with West Nile virus has been reported in south Washoe County.
“People need to understand they need to take precautionary measures where ever they are,” Jenkins said.