County to spray for bugs

Marty Cutler is looking forward to the start of mosquito spraying.

"It always seems to help," Cutler said as he fished with his family at Loudy-Simpson Park on Thursday evening.

Cutler said the mosquitoes weren't too bad Thursday because there was a slight breeze, but Tuesday was a different story.

"They were awful," Cutler said. "We had on repellent, and it wasn't helping."

Moffat County Pest Manage--ment Department Manager Gary Brannan said the mosquitoes are definitely more plentiful this year than in recent summers. The county plans to start spraying next week.

"We usually have a year like this every five years," Brannan said.

The swollen Yampa River and puddles from rainstorms have given mosquitoes plenty of places to breed, and the population is booming.

Pest Management has decided to move up mosquito spraying by one week to alleviate the problem.

County-contracted airplane crews will spray in the city and county Monday through Friday.

Spraying will take place in the evenings and early mornings.

Brannan said people should try to stay inside when the planes are spraying.

The county usually sprays only after they have mosquito breeding grounds under control. But this year, with more than 6,000 additional acres of water to treat, Brannan said the county won't be able to treat a lot of the water.

"Until you treat the water, they come right back," Brannan said.

The county will spray now in the hopes that the warm weather will dry out some of the standing water, Brannan said.

Although there are more mosquitoes this year, Brannan said it would be worse if the county hadn't been treating the water for the past few weeks.

"People don't understand what mosquitoes would be like if we didn't treat," he said.

Mosquito traps outside the county's treatment area yield about 90 percent more mosquitoes than traps within the treatment area, Brannan said.

Brannan hopes the mosquito problem peaks this week.

"It's unpleasant, but we're doing the best we can," Brannan said.

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