How Do Cities Around Region 8 Battle Mosquitos? Part 1

June 30, 2005 -- Posted at 11:45 P.M. CDT

JONESBORO -- Whether you're enjoying a summertime barbecue in your backyard, or cheering on the hometown team at the ballpark, mosquitos will most likely accompany you during the warm summer months.

We've all got our own ways to battle the bites, but what exactly are cities in Region 8 doing to help defend you against the dreaded biting bug?

"Well Vector started with four guys talking in a coffee shop and griping about how bad the mosquitos were down in Dewitt, Arkansas," said Hogue.

"It was that coffee shop talk which has turned into big business," said Vector Disease Control's Derek Hogue.

"We started in Corning, and that was the first one in Northeast Arkansas, from there to Jonesboro to Wynne, from Paragould to Blytheville.

Vector Control is the first line of defense against mosquitos for many of the largest cities in Region 8.

"Yes ma'am, and some of the smaller ones too," said Hogue.

Starting in late spring, flashing lights shine bright around many city streets in the area.

"They blow chemical out, and drive 12 mph and that's basically how that program works. It looks like a fog to us but when it dissipates--it has to land on the pest to kill it," said Hogue.

Hogue says the chemical will float two New York City blocks in calm weather conditions.

Hogue says they get a 92 percent kill each time they spray.

"When that chemical is out flying around at night, we want to stir up the mosquitoes to fly in the chemical, or the chemical land on them," said Hogue.

Right now, they are only spraying 2 or 3 nights a week, but Hogue says that will increase to six nights by the end of July, which is peak mosquito season.

"This is called a New Jersey light trap. It runs off a 40 watt bulb. It has a fan on the inside of it. It blows backwards so the mosquitos are attracted to the light bulb. They are sucked down through a cone and trapped inside a Dixie cup, and this has got chemical inside of it," said Hogue.

By examining the dead mosquitos inside the cup, they are able to determine the type of mosquitos out now, if they are male or female, and what will work best to kill them.

The fight is on to try and beat the bite that bugs you every year.

"We just keep fighting--keep blowing and going every year that's the term we use here.

Blow and go, and that's what we do," said Hogue.