Most people measure the severity of the summertime mosquito nuisance by the number of bites on their arms or legs. Jerry Young measures it by the number of 55-gallon drums of mosquito spray.
Young, supervisor of the Warren County Road Department, started last week the annual mosquito spraying program his department conducts in conjunction with the Stormwater Management division. He expects a busy next few months for the two trucks that are dedicated to spraying upon request from Warren County and city of Bowling Green residents.
“We get more calls every year,” Young said. “We have three guys licensed to do the spraying, and it keeps them pretty busy. We went through three drums of spray last year, and that was a little more than in the past.”
Young said the road department took over the spraying program 15 years ago after the Barren River District Health Department stopped doing it. Stormwater Management joined the road department three years ago, adding a second truck to handle the volume of requests for spraying.
“They were getting more and more requests,” said Nikki Koller, stormwater program manager for the county. “We felt it was a service that stormwater could provide.”
Koller said the two trucks use a product called Mosquitomist made by the Clarke chemical company. Costing about $3,500 for a 55-gallon drum, Mosquitomist is described on the Clarke website as a product that is low-odor, quick-killing and non-corrosive.
While it’s an effective product, Koller encourages city and county residents to take their own steps to prevent the growth of the mosquito population.
“The spray targets adult mosquitoes,” Koller said. “But we need help stopping the growth of the mosquito population. Homeowners need to try to avoid having ponding water or buckets in their yard where mosquitoes can breed. We want to try to prevent them as much as possible.”
Koller also wants to make it as easy as possible for residents to request spraying. In addition to the mosquito spraying hotline, 270-393-3535, that can be called to request spraying, residents can also fill out an online request form at warren countyky.gov/mosquito.
Koller said the spraying takes place in the evening hours when the adult mosquitoes are active. Requests for spraying are honored as quickly as possible, although the spraying schedule can depend on location.
She said residents who don’t want mosquito spraying near their property can call the hotline number.
“We try to be respectful of those requests,” Koller said.
The spraying program will continue through the summer months and usually ends in September, Koller said.