Bite fight begins
If those skeeters peering in the restaurant window while you're eating make you nervous, you need not worry about a mosquito outbreak - for now. Cass County Vector Control began recording mosquito trap counts last week and say reported trap numbe...
If those skeeters peering in the restaurant window while you're eating make you nervous, you need not worry about a mosquito outbreak - for now.
Cass County Vector Control began recording mosquito trap counts last week and say reported trap numbers so far are normal for May.
Today's trap count average is 10, meaning large-scale sprays are not required.
"Anything less than 50 is normal for this time of year," said Angela Balint, the vector control's director. She said recent low temperatures and high winds are likely keeping the trap counts down.
Despite this week's cool temperatures, recent rains could spike a rise in mosquito sightings in 10 days. Balint said standing water from recent rains could be breeding grounds for more mosquitoes.
The National Weather Service in Grand Forks, N.D., reports slight chances for rain through Monday.
Vector control prepared for the mosquito season last month by applying larvicide to standing water left by melting snowfall.
Vector control workers also set out 22 traps throughout the Fargo and West Fargo area, which are checked daily. Trapped mosquitoes are then counted and an average daily trap count is calculated.
If the average hits 100, vector control workers would begin ground spraying, Balint said. But it's been more than two years since the average trap count passed 100.
Last year's highest trap average count hit 41, she said. But vector control dealt with high numbers the year before due to large rainfalls.
In June 2005, the trap count average peaked at 2,200, which called for aerial spraying. But it doesn't come cheap.
"It is a big expense," Balint said of aerial spraying, which could cost nearly $60,000 for one application. The aerial spray could treat about 28,235 acres, she said.
Any aerial sprays must be approved by the three-member vector control board and the cities, which would cover the expenses, Balint said.
Vector control plans to spend about $794,000 this year to battle mosquitoes. Balint said a utility tax could be collected by the cities to help support the vector control if funding problems arise.
Areas to be sprayed by Cass County Vector Control ground crews May 31:
- Bakke Subdivision Spraying begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 10.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Benny Polacca at (701) 241-5504