More relief from mosquito season is coming this week with the city announcing aerial spraying, Mayor Harold Copenhaver said Wednesday.
Aerial spraying will be done weekly through the first week of September, and later if needed, by Vector Disease Control. Tonight’s target includes neighborhoods south of Interstate 555. Truck spraying began weeks ago, but Vector Executive Director Jim Stark said mosquito season regularly kicks up after the Independence Day weekend.
“By the Fourth of July, we get this bloom every year,” Stark said. “Jonesboro is not the only place. All areas in the region, up through Missouri, are experiencing the same thing.”
Stark said this year’s mosquitoes are joined by an annoying crop of fleas and gnats but are the same rice field-bred mosquitoes that Jonesboro regularly sees.
“It’s the same species we see from the rice fields every year, and there are times we will lose control of them,” he said. “We’re not going to get them under control in one night. It will take a week or two.”
Copenhaver reminds residents of the reason for City codes that require no unused tires or buckets that contain water around neighborhoods. Mosquitoes are well-known carriers of diseases that can affect people and their pets.
“This is why we stress what we stress, and why we have codes aimed at reducing standing water. A single bucket or tire with water in it can breed 1,000 mosquitoes,” the mayor said.
Some measures that help eliminate mosquitoes are less obvious: including the emptying of outdoor containers such as cups, flower pots, bird baths, and watering cans. It is also important to ensure water properly drains off of tarps, tables, and outdoor equipment during rainstorms.