HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The mosquito population in Reno County is the worst anyone has ever seen, according to Sherry Tubach with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
She spoke at the Reno County Commission meeting yesterday and talked about what they found in the county traps.
“Among the five traps that were found in Reno County, this is really an unprecedented number, we have never ever trapped this many Culex mosquitoes,” Tubach said. “We really feel like the West Nile virus, actually they can also carry Saint Louis encephalitis virus, is quite high.”
She says they are going to do aerial spraying over every community in the county to try to reduce the pest population to lower the risk for disease.
“KDHE has identified funding and we have requested and been granted the redirection of some federal funding that is used for mosquito surveillance for a one-time application to reduce the number of adult mosquitoes in Reno County,” Tubach said.
She says this could be done in one night and should be pretty effective in reducing the mosquito population in the county with the aerial spraying.
“We anticipate that only one application will be needed to reduce the number of mosquitoes by about 9o percent,” Tubach said. She adds that they will continue to monitor the mosquito population in the county.
Residents will still need to toss mosquito dunks in standing water to eliminate mosquito larvae to keep control of the problem.
Megan Gottschalk-Hammersmith, the Assistant Director of Community Health Operations, says the health department has about 700 dunks to help control the larvae. The department plans to order more.
No specific date has been set for the spraying.