As the summer season heats up, so does mosquito season. There are the usual remedies – bug spray, citronella candles and light zappers that attract and sizzle the pesky bugs. And still, here they come.
As annoying as mosquitos are, because of their ability to spread disease, there is one entity dedicated to keeping mosquitos at bay – the Vector Control Division of the Madison County Health Department. They’re responsible for mosquito control in the areas of Huntsville within Madison County and their mission is to control the mosquito population in order to protect human health and to preserve the quality of life.
Managing the mosquito
As part of precautionary measures, Vector Control operates and manages mosquito fog trucks throughout the Huntsville/Madison County area. These trucks spray small amounts of insecticides into the air to kill mosquitos. This is used to control and reduce the number of mosquitos that can otherwise spread viruses. This spray is not harmful to people, pets, animals or the environment and requires no additional actions from residents.
As a precautionary measure, Huntsville residents are advised to practice the three D’s of mosquito bite prevention – drain, dress, and defend.”
Fog trucks generally operate weekdays 7 p.m. -12 a.m. from March to September. However, certain weather conditions such as high wind, excessive heat, and rain can temporarily prevent fog trucks from running.
Residents can use the Fog Routes Map on the city’s website to access more information on fog trucks running in their area. Type in an address and find out what fog route Vector agents are working on and when a neighborhood was last sprayed.
Zika and other precautions
At this time, all cases of Zika virus in Alabama have been related to travel and have not been found to be associated with a bite from a local mosquito. Even if someone does not feel sick, travelers returning from areas where the Zika virus is active should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for three weeks to avert the spread of Zika virus to local mosquitos.
As a precautionary measure, Huntsville residents are advised to practice the three D’s of mosquito bite prevention – drain, dress, and defend.
Draining any items that hold even a small amount of standing water helps prevent the breeding of mosquitoes, including pet dishes, tarps, buckets, tires, wheelbarrows, potted plants, corrugated pipes, and children’s wading pools and toys.
Dressing in light-colored, tightly woven, loose-fitting clothing, including long-sleeved shirts and long pants with socks and shoes. Defending yourself by properly applying insect repellant and sunscreen.