The Department of Public Health and Human Services partnered with Columbia Parks and Recreation Thursday in an effort to reduce mosquito numbers.
Every year, Columbia’s trails are sprayed with an Environmental Protection Agency approved chemical for mosquito control. These locations include the MKT Trail, Grindstone Creek Trail, among other additional areas approved by Columbia Parks and Recreation. A small, red Chevrolet truck is scheduled to drive along the trails Friday mornings through September spraying the chemical.
Spokesperson Andrea Waner says the mosquito control program’s plan is to help eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, which will therefore reduce the spread of disease. She says there are easy ways residents can prepare for the mosquito season on their own.
“One thing that, they, people can do at home to prevent mosquito bites is to eliminate breeding grounds around the home,” Waner said.
“So empty any water dishes, pales, bird baths, pool covers, wheel barrels, that sort of thing. Anything where water can sit at, at your home, dump out the water.”
Waner says to also wear insect repellent and take the time to repair screens in windows and doors, so the mosquitoes can’t enter your home.
The program’s spraying is scheduled while the sun is down, since mosquitoes are most active in lower temperatures.
Emergency Medical Physician Chadd Kraus says mosquitoes can carry many illnesses, and some people who are bitten might not even realize they have an infection. He says there are two important ways people can prevent mosquito bites.
“The two big things that folks can do are to keep their skin covered, so to wear long sleeves, to wear hats, long pants,” Kraus said, “And then the second thing is to wear insect repellent.”
The insect repellent Kraus recommends using is one with 20 percent deet.