Mosquito problems prompt Alcoa to spray entire city

Mosquito problems prompt Alcoa to spray entire city

Posted:
"We'll be spraying about 56 miles, it should take about two days to cover the entire city and we'll get that started fairly quickly," said Mark Johnson Alcoa City Manager. "We'll be spraying about 56 miles, it should take about two days to cover the entire city and we'll get that started fairly quickly," said Mark Johnson Alcoa City Manager.
They've been trying to fight off mosquitoes but so far it hasn't worked. "We've used four or five bottles of OFF so far," said Jewel Bolin. They've been trying to fight off mosquitoes but so far it hasn't worked. "We've used four or five bottles of OFF so far," said Jewel Bolin.

By LAURA HALM

6 News Reporter

An East Tennessee community is stepping up its efforts to combat mosquitoes. The annoying and potentially disease-transmitting insects lay their eggs in standing water and there's been an ample supply with this summer's wet weather. To fight back the city of Alcoa is planning to spray not just certain areas, but the entire town.

City leaders say they've gotten so many complaints this summer they're hoping to just make a dent in the mosquito population.

Jewel Bolin's job this summer is babysitting her two great grandchildren. They try and spend a few hours outside each day but with the dreary gray sky comes the bugs.

"Mosquitoes and all the other types of bugs," said Bolin.

They've been trying to fight off mosquitoes but so far it hasn't worked. "We've used four or five bottles of OFF so far," added Bolin.

That's a shared sentiment in Alcoa so people spoke up and the city listened. That's why for the first time this summer crews will be spraying for mosquitoes.

But what's different is that the city is widening their scope beyond an eight-mile radius.

"We'll be spraying about 56 miles, it should take about two days to cover the entire city and we'll get that started fairly quickly," said Mark Johnson Alcoa City Manager.

Spraying will take place at night and closer to the weekends to pack the most punch. But there's no set end-date, crews will be out until the first frost or until the mosquitoes are no longer a problem.

Despite a soggy backyard some homeowners say they'll stick to a temporary solution to get rid of mosquitoes instead of spraying.

"I personally don't know if it's that effective because when they sprayed in the past I haven't noticed a difference," said resident David Newvine.

All this rain has helped gardens grow but concerns are growing about the health factors associated with these insects.

"I think it's a good idea because apparently there's been West Nile Virus in East Tennessee which is bad," said resident Jackie Krider.

That's why the city is taking control of the mosquito population.

"We have not heard of any illnesses at this point but we do know West Nile Virus there have been a few cases in East Tennessee which is something to be concerned about," added Johnson.

It is safe to be outside shortly after crews have sprayed the chemicals. City leaders say the best way to attack mosquitoes is to remove their nests and use larvicide, in some cases crews will do these treatments.

The city will spend close to $10,000 on extermination for the rest of this summer. There are plans for spraying mosquitoes next year starting in May which will cost close to $30,000.

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