How Shelby County is working to take a bite out of mosquitoes this summer

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Summer has arrived in the Mid-South, and that means more nights spent outside taking part in various activities.

But, that doesn’t mean you have to get eaten alive by mosquitoes.

The Shelby County Health Department’s Mosquito Control Program treats for the pests year-round.

Kasia Smith-Alexander with Environmental Health Services said traps are placed in various locations all throughout the county.

She said workers collect mosquitos from the traps each week and send them off for testing for West Nile Virus and other diseases that can be spread to humans.

Mosquito control uses the results of the testing to target adultizing efforts and goes out in trucks to spray and kill mosquito populations.

“Normally, they go out on the streets during the nighttime. They go very slow they cannot go over 35 miles per hour and they are spraying the adulticide in the air,” Smith-Alexander said. “It can settle on any type of equipment, any type of service or anything like that. So if a mosquito does land on it, it will absorb some of that adulticide.”

Even in the winter, when most mosquitoes are dormant, Smith-Alexander said mosquito control works to clear ditches and remove trash and other debris that serve as breeding grounds for mosquitos.

When it comes to preventing mosquitos around your home, Alexander said clearing any standing water and adding mosquito-repelling plants to your landscape can help.