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Local health officials expect increase in mosquito complaints - KOAM TV 7

Local health officials expect increase in mosquito complaints

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI - Local health officials expect an increase in mosquito complaints in the next couple weeks.

Due to recent heavy rains, standing water is at risk of becoming stagnant and a potential breeding ground.

As the temperatures rise, some Joplin residents are doing everything possible to keep mosquitoes away.

"Everything I can," said Charlene Sharer, Joplin resident. "I would spend my last $5 to get rid of insects."

Officials say keeping the grass cut low, and eliminating standing water is crucial to avoid any infestations on your property.

Bird baths, old tires, flower pots with a base, and rain gutters all present a potential threat.

"Really anything that holds water greater than about 10 to 14 days, can complete the life cycle of some species of mosquitoes around here," said Dan Pekarek, director of the Joplin Health Department.

Officials say when residents work to lower mosquito breeding at their own homes, it greatly reduces the health risks to the community as a whole.

"The primary reason that we do mosquito control is for disease prevention," Pekarek said. "It's also a nuisance prevention. Mosquitoes can ruin any outdoor event."

City officials say they will assist residents with fogging if a significant mosquito problem is present.

However, it's up to each individual homeowner to monitor standing water sources on private property.

Additional measures are also encouraged.

"I spray, starting on the base of the foundation of my home, all the way out," Sharer said.

City officials say they also use a special chemical to kill off larva in standing water on public property.

Officials primarily focus is on larva sighting, or eliminating breeding in standing water sources, because they say fogging has proven to be a significantly less effective process.
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