The City of Great Bend has made its battle plan to combat mosquitoes this season, especially in light of the zika virus concerns.
Each year the City of Great Bend Public Works and Public Lands departments work together to reduce mosquito populations throughout the city, said Street Superintendent Mike Crawford. Crews go to known breeding sites and treat standing water with materials which help deter the water borne stages of mosquitoes. This method of mosquito control kills insects before they get the chance to mature, fly and begin biting.
“The city is working to be proactive to reduce the number of mosquitoes this year especially with concerns of the zika virus,” Crawford said. During the time of year when adult mosquitoes are active, Street Department personnel apply insecticides from a fog machine mounted in pickup trucks throughout the city. Public Works staff will notify the public via radio and newspaper and also city social media sites, when spraying begins.
The city typically does their spraying on Thursday nights. Crawford said an exact starting date has not been set, but it will be in the near future.
“City crews would also like to remind the public that if they have any standing, stagnant water in their yards, dump the water to reduce the number of mosquito egg and larva,” he said. Standing water can be in outdoor pet bowls, old tires, bird baths, trash cans, etc.
Keep rain gutters unclogged and if one has a backyard swimming pool, be sure to treat it regularly, remove debris and keep filters clean.
“Most breeds of mosquitoes will go from egg to full adult within 7-10 days, therefore it’s very important to flush out standing water every week to keep mosquito population to a minimum,” Crawford said.
The most common symptoms of zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).
The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. However, zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. For more information on the zika virus go to cdc.gov/zika.
On Feb. 1, 2016, the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern because of Zika. On Feb. 8, 2016, CDC elevated its response efforts to a Level 1 activation, the highest response level at the agency.
Prior to 2015, Zika virus outbreaks occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands.
In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infections in Brazil. Currently, outbreaks are occurring in many countries.
The disease has shown up in 42 states, including at least one case in Kansas.
For More information call the Great Bend Public Works Department at 620-793-4150.