Pilots flying over Craig to spray for mosquitos tonight, Tuesday

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Along with the positives of summer's arrival come the negatives, namely mosquitos.

With the remnants of a dry spring and the signs of an early-summer drought on the horizon, mosquitos have not returned in record numbers, but their population continues to soar.

However, thanks to some help from Moffat County, that problem should be reduced considerably over the next couple days.

Mountain Air Spray Company, a Craig-based company that specializes in pest control, will be doing flyovers over the city tonight and Tuesday to reduce the number of adult mosquitos that reside around the city.

"We can only kill the adults, as the eggs are naturally protected from any type of insecticide that we could spray on them," said Blaine Tucker, owner of Mountain Air Spray Company. "We have already done some spraying from Loudy-Simpson Park to First Street, but if the weather permits, we should be able to finish everything up by tonight or tomorrow."

Mountain Air Spray Company uses a chemical called Ultra Low Volume Malathion, which is safe to use around residential areas, but deadly to mosquitos. It is a safer, more environmentally-friendly alternative to DDT, a common agent that was used extensively in the 1960s and 70s.

Mountain Air Spray is contracted by the Moffat County Commissioners, who also receive money from the city to help fund the project.

"They used to have a chemical that we could use that would take care of both the adults and the eggs, but they got rid of that a few years ago," Tucker said. "It worked well, but there wasn't a very high demand for it so they took it off the market. They ended up not re-registering it, so it kind of fell by the wayside."

Low winds and no precipitation are create the ideal conditions for controlled sprays, because the combination presents the best opportunity for the crop duster airplane to evenly distribute the chemicals. Tucker uses three fluid ounces of the Malathion per acre, which is enough chemical to substantially reduce the number of adult mosquitos.

"We've been doing this for about 27 years now without any problems, so this year should be no different," he said. "With the recent outbreaks of Nile River disease back east, this is probably a precaution that is wise to take out here as well. Not only can mosquitos be pesky and annoying, but they can also be dangerous as well."

The spraying will be done between 6:30 p.m. and dark.

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