Officials urge precautions against mosquitoes

Though still relatively rare, diseases caused by mosquitoes are on the rise in the United States, a CDC study found. West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-spread disease, which rarely causes serious injury.

ANDERSON — Summer in Indiana means the unwelcome return of pesky mosquitoes.

The city of Anderson has kicked off its annual mosquito deterrent program, according to Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr.

The program will target mosquitoes brought on by recent spring rains. The Street Department has a trained staff that will utilize fogging equipment to spray the city every day for a period of two weeks and then will continue to spray on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through September, Broderick said.

Weather permitting, fogging will begin at 5 p.m. and continue until approximately 9 p.m.

Stephenie Grimes, administrator with the Madison County Health Department, said the department sprays for mosquitoes when there is a request.

“We spray only when we find a positive West Nile virus from testing,” she said.

Grimes said most cities and towns in Madison County have their own equipment for spraying.

The city’s program involves driving every street in the city and spraying with an ultralow volume machine that produces an ultrafine mist of mosquito killer. These methods reduce the number of mosquitoes and lessen the risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as the West Nile virus.

The ultrafine mist is not harmful to humans and pets. In addition, residents are encouraged to implement mosquito control efforts at their own homes as well.

“We are implementing this mosquito abatement program to help protect our citizens,” Broderick said. “Mosquitoes pose a serious health risk, especially West Nile disease. It also helps to protect dogs and cats from heartworm. The city is doing its part but we also need residents to do their part.”

Residents are advised that mosquito fogging will not eliminate mosquitoes completely. In conjunction with the city program, residents are asked to take action to help prevent mosquito infestation as well.

“The removal of standing water is critical to the prevention of these unwanted mosquitoes,” Broderick said.

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Senior Reporter covering Anderson and Madison County government, politics and auto racing for The Herald Bulletin. Has been working as a journalist in central Indiana since 1977.