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Mosquitoes

 
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Ellen
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Joined: 15 May 2004
Posts: 209
Location: Oak Ridge, Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:58 am    Post subject: Mosquitoes Reply with quote

With the advent of summer weather, I have been hearing from people who are starting to get concerned about mosquitoes, particularly the possibility of serious diseases (such as West Nile) that are carried by mosquitoes.

The City does not conduct a fogging or larvicide application program right now (see http://www.cortn.org/PW-html/MosquitoControl.htm for details) and has encouraged individual homeowners to employ various control strategies to reduce mosquito populations on private property. With the increased concern about mosquito-borne diseases, it probably would be appropriate to revisit this policy, particularly with respect to public property.

Control costs are an issue in mosquito control, along with hazards to humans and non-target organisms (such as fireflies and birds). It's probably time for the City to explore new technologies -- such as sonic devices (for an example, see http://www.larvasonic.com/) to kill larvae -- that may avoid these concerns.

Where are you encountering problems with mosquitoes? Do you know of breeding areas on public property that ought to be controlled? Should the City work more aggressively to eradicate breeding sites on private property?


Last edited by Ellen on Tue Jun 01, 2004 11:51 am; edited 2 times in total
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Warren Webb
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 11:39 am    Post subject: Mosquito control Reply with quote

Broadcast fogging with traditional insecticides, even for small areas, may raise concerns with some citizens. I don't know what is used nowdays (when I was chasing foggers as a kid, it was DDT in kerosene, and look at me now), but, although probably safer for vertebrates including humans, I'd guess it is broad-spectrum to insects. If so, the question of collateral damage to ecological systems arises. There is a Bacillus thuringiensis formulation available for mosquitoes and a few other flies; there is a guy at UT who knows about this, but his name eludes me. (Mick Wiest at Y12 may have it.)

Or maybe the city could adopt the Nat Revis approach to forest "clearing" on Pine Ridge . . .

Corvids (e.g., blue jays and crows) seem to be an effective "canary" for West Nile virus: probably any widespread control should be undertaken only on an indication from these species that a problem exists.
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vicktn



Joined: 11 Jun 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, disease or not, mosquitos are a real nuisance and, when they get most numerous, prevent me from enjoying the outdoors. Sad A local breeding area is the relatively new marsh created by beavers near Big Turtle Park and Katie Hunter Soccer Field. Why not provide a drainage pipe through or around the "dam"?? Question
BTW, Knoxville is "fogging".
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Ellen
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Joined: 15 May 2004
Posts: 209
Location: Oak Ridge, Tennessee

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2004 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are not the only one bothered by the beaver pond next to Big Turtle Park -- it does seem to be an issue with others, too.

When the beavers first took up residence there several years ago, EQAB learned that the site already had been mapped as a wetland. The outlet is very narrow, and it's not difficult for the beavers to maintain a dam across it. I think there is a drainage pipe there already to control the water level...

A bit of good news is that mosquito experts say that ponds like that one are not habitat for the kinds of mosquitoes that transmit West Nile. So it may be a nuisance, but it's not necessarily a health hazard.

If mosquito production in that pond bothers a lot of people, I'd like to see the City try some ecologically friendly larvicide applications, rather than eliminating the pond entirely. Remember that there is a greenway trail around the pond (I recall that Bryce Galen received a national award for the trail) and that it is home to a variety of critters in addition to beavers and mosquito larvae.
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Ellen
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Joined: 15 May 2004
Posts: 209
Location: Oak Ridge, Tennessee

PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Environmental Quality Advisory Board has made tentative plans to discuss the beaver pond near Big Turtle Park at our August monthly meeting, on Thursday, August 5.* City staff has received complaints about the pond, and EQAB will discuss the matter. We meet at 7:30 pm in the "training room" in the Municipal Building.

*Yes, August 5 will be busy for me, since it's also election day. Surprised
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