SANDOWN – Despite a rollercoaster of a winter, the town’s contracted mosquito control vendor is starting its spring work soon, and will be around town checking up on the insects’ homes and boarding places.
Starting on April 11, employees with Dragon Mosquito Control will be checking swamps, marshes, woodland pools, ditches, storm drains and other shallow, stagnant water for mosquito larvae. While some of the larvae will be trapped later in the season for testing by the state lab, areas will be selectively treated with larvacide in an effort to control problematic populations.
Although most of the work the company does in town is monitoring, if disease-carrying mosquitoes are found, emergency spray treatments may be performed on public sites. For the time being, however, the focus will be on identification and larvaciding of breeding sites. Public sites listed as potential spray areas include, North and Central Schools, the Ed Garvey Recreational Facility, Angle Pond Grove Camping Area and the Roy Miller Recreation Area.
In announcing the start of anti-mosquito operations, town administrator Lynne Blaisdell explained that if spraying is needed, it was important for townspeople to know that the entire town was not going to be treated, just specific public areas.
In past seasons, Dragon president Sarah McGregor has explained that winter doesn’t necessarily affect mosquito populations in the coming seasons. All the insects need are a few stagnant pools, natural or man made, and they’ve got plenty of space to breed. To that end, McGregor has long been a proponent of getting residents to check their properties for any stagnant water. It can accumulate in everything from wheelbarrows to play pools to dog bowls and makes prime real estate for the insects.
While the wet season favors the mosquitoes that carry EEE – Eastern Equine Encephalitis, those that carry WNV – West Nile Virus – thrive in dry spells. They’re largely the ones that breed in man-made pools of water.
Though residents may already be seeing mosquitoes around, those insects are leftovers from last year, as this year’s mosquitoes haven’t hatched yet.
Residents who do not want their wetlands treated may use Dragon’s No Spray Registry online at www.DragonMosquito.com/No-Spray-Request-2016 or write to Dragon Mosquito Control, P.O. Box 46, Stratham, NH 03885. Include name, physical address, phone number, and a description of property with boundaries.
Residents who would like to have their stagnant water checked for mosquitoes may call 734-4144 or email Info@DragonMosquito.com. There is no charge for this service.
Putting it into perspective, Blaisdell said, “We do live in New England. We’re not going to stop the mosquitoes, but if there is EEE or West Nile, testing lets us know ahead of time.”