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Crews Battle Rising Mosquito Numbers; How You Can Protect Yourse - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Crews Battle Rising Mosquito Numbers; How You Can Protect Yourself

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Mosquito crews are doing all they can to keep up with the large number of mosquitoes, but the weather has not been playing nice.

Over the past couple nights crews wanted to spray with trucks, but because there has been no wind they could not spray.

That means we are in for some uncomfortable nights, especially if you are out lighting fireworks or at the lake.

The wind is finally cooperating with Cass County Vector Control, so trucks will take to the streets to try and kill as many mosquitoes as possible, but this is only temporary relief because more mosquitoes are expected.

Cass County Vector Control Director Ben Prather says, "(We are) starting to see a lot of fresh, new looking mosquitoes."

The efforts to ground spray have been cut short because Vector Control needs a one to ten mile per hour wind to be out with the trucks. Without the wind the product stays on the road instead of spreading to yards.

This string of warm temperatures throughout the Valley has been perfect for speeding up the process for mosquitoes. That, of course, is coupled with an historic spring rainfall.

"This one could be a big one. You know, with five inches of rain, epic flooding. That's the biggest I've, the largest flood I've seen in the Red River in June," says Prather.

Crews tried to get out and treat ditches and standing water between events, but the timing was not right. Prather explains, "Each one of those four individual events created different brews or different groups of mosquitoes that all emerge on their own time scale."

Now they have been working up to 15 hours a day for the past couple weeks to get back on the attack, but crews admit it will be a challenge to cover all the areas in the time available Wednesday night.

"We're gonna do our very best to try and cover as many streets and avenues as we can get to," says Prather.

Trucks will be out spraying in Cass County, Grand Forks and East Grand Forks around 8:30 Wednesday night. They will be out for about three to four hours. Vector Control crews ask that if you see them coming, you go inside for a few minutes as they come by.

Cass County is also planning an aerial spray for either Friday or Saturday.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

The spraying Wednesday will knock down a lot of mosquitoes initially, but if you are at the lakes or near the river or trees, you will still notice them.

One thing you can do is wear long sleeves and cover up as much skin as possible.

But with the hot temperatures bug spray is the best option.

Make sure you have deet in the bug spray. Just 10 percent deet will repel mosquitoes for about six to eight hours. The more deet you have in the bug spray, the longer it will repel mosquitoes.

Another thing you can do is pick up some yard guard or some sort of yard spray. Take the family inside for a bit and go outside to spray trees, bushes and the rest of the yard down wind.

"Those are the same products that come out of these pick-up trucks that we're using. Same product active ingredient that comes out of the aircraft in fact. That gives you immediate control in those times," says Prather.

Prather says there are a couple products that simply do not work. They are not worth your time.

One is the ever popular Tiki torch. You see a lot of these in yards. Another is a citronella candle.

These products give off a lot of carbon dioxide and heat, and scientific studies show that they draw more mosquitoes in than they repel.
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