Health department targets mosquitoes with state money

MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Bugs getting to you this season? Well the Mississippi County Health Department decided to take some action.

Clint Wolford, an environmentalist with the department, said they applied for a state grant that gave them almost $50,000. With that money, they had two options: pay an outside party to spray for the season, or buy sprayers to use each year. The department got the sprayers.

They gave one to Charleston, East Prairie, Wyatt, and Mississippi County.

"Well since the flood the mosquitos have really been bad," said East Prairie Road Supervisor Ray Givens. "It's been gnats, flies, mosquitoes, it's been you know everything."

City workers like Allen Rogers, who works for Charleston, are thankful for the gift.  "I love it, it works out great," said Rogers.

Rogers says he usually sprays between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., since that's when the bugs can be the worst.

He says the spray isn't necessarily killing the bugs, but injures them, so they can't be a pest.

"The chemical that we use gets on the mosquitoes wings, and dissolves the wings," said Rogers.

Givens says the City of East Prairie usually uses about 150 gallons of the bug chemical each year. But he says they've already used that, and it's still early in the season.

"We usually spray about twice a week, since the flood, we've been spraying 7 days a week, three hours a day, we've been going through about 15 gallons a night," said Givens. "And since we've been doing that, the mosquitos have slacked off a little bit."

Givens says the chemical usually runs about $30 a gallon. So with the increased spraying, he says the equipment and extra chemical supply came just in time, saving the city a great deal of money, and carrying the fight through the rest of the season.

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