Boykins taking action against mosquitoes

Published 10:45 am Saturday, July 30, 2016

By Linda Beatty

Although extensive preparations were made by Boykins Town Clerk Pat Draper, and flyers were posted and distributed by the town crew, only a small number of people attended the meeting in the firehouse on July 21 designed to educate the citizens about mosquito control.

Joe Andrews, a trained mosquito biologist for Allpro Vector Group, presented an enlightening program on the problem and options to deal with it.

He noted that Boykins is better prepared to battle the pesky insect than most other towns due to the legwork of Mayor Spier Edwards several years ago in getting some experts in town to evaluate our situation.

The town has a mosquito sprayer, which is operated by Dennis Overby, and Mayor Edwards is knowledgeable about setting traps, doing research to determine types of mosquitoes and applying chemicals that are safe to humans and pets.

Andrews commended the town for its efforts. Prior to the meeting, he went to several locations in town where there was standing water and captured the insect in various stages to have on display and presented a slide show as well.

Handouts were available to take home and also samples of dunks safe to use in residential areas.

He explained the S.P.L.A.T. concept of fighting mosquitoes: S for Source Reduction (get rid of standing water); P for public awareness; L for Laviciding (chemicals available at any hardware store): A for adulticiding (spray to kill adult mosquitoes); and T for Timing (spray at the right time, right place and in the right weather for optimum results).

Since the meeting was attended by four council members, two town employees, one town resident and Debbie Starke, a member of Capron Town Council, there were lots of handouts left that will be available for citizens to pick up at the town office.

Battling the mosquitoes is not just a town problem; everyone needs to do their part to prevent mosquitoes and, ultimately, viruses that can be harmful to people and animals.

The Town of Boykins is ordering chemicals and preparing the mosquito machine to start spraying earlier this year due to the concern over the Zika Virus. But, residents can help prevent mosquitoes from breeding as well as protect themselves from the pesky insect.

Here’s how you can help:

Prevent Your Exposure

• Tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks to cover gaps in clothing.

• Use EPA-registered mosquito repellents when necessary.

Eliminate Entry Points

• Close gaps in windows, walls, doors and screens to help prevent entry into your home.

Remove Their Habitat

• Regularly remove standing water from gutters, buckets, flower pots, trash cans and other yard ornaments/containers as mosquitoes can breed in just a few inches of standing water.

• Change water regularly in bird baths, fountains and potted plants.

• Keep swimming pool water treated and circulating. Do not leave water in kiddie pools.

• If water stands in nearby ditches contact the town for briquettes.

No reported cases of Zika infection in the continental United States have been a result of local transmission; all cases were related to travel outside the USA.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control site for the latest information on known Zika-affected areas and updated travel alerts.