April 8, 2015 Edition

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Mosquito season approaches

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

As mosquito season approaches, people are securing their screen doors, investing in large quantities of repellant and pruning hedges and yards in hopes of avoiding the varmints.

To aid in these efforts, Walnut Ridge launched a new mosquito program offering insecticide and mosquito dunks to its citizens to use on their personal property. The city will continue to spray and treat public areas, with special attention being given to Stewart Park and Rails to Trails.

However, there are many things citizens can do to aid the city in combating mosquitoes. The first step is to take their water bill to the Mayor's Office and request the mosquito fighting products. Citizens will receive enough Bifen IT concentrate to yield two gallons of insecticide and two dunks, each being effective on water surfaces up to 100 square feet.

Bryson Long with the street department used the product on his personal property last year. He sprayed under his carport, around door frames and around bushes. "It really cut down quite a bit on mosquitoes around the house. Of course it didn't solve the problem but it sure made a difference," he said.

Mayor Charles Snapp said the city has ordered enough to distribute to 500 residences, and as of Tuesday afternoon 127 have been distributed since they started Friday morning.

"If we run out, we'll order enough to do 500 more," Snapp said. Citizens must provide a Walnut Ridge water bill to receive their mosquito control kit and will be instructed on how to use it. Citizens will be allowed to pick up a kit once every two months. All the products are commercially available and can be ordered through various retailers.

Hoxie Mayor Lanny Tinker said he is open to the idea of running a similar program in Hoxie and will be researching options. He added that the city would work on its drainage issues leading into mosquito season.

"We have a lot of water right now but we're not in mosquito season, yet," Tinker said.

However, it won't be long before the temperatures rise and mosquitoes come out in full force.

Jeff Taylor with the Walnut Ridge Mosquito Committee said, "With all this rain, it's setting itself up to be a bad mosquito season. The city plans on being more proactive than ever to combat the mosquito problem."

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