Alabaster begins spraying for mosquitoes

Published 1:37 pm Monday, March 21, 2016

    Alabaster crews began spraying the city for mosquitoes along city rights-of-way on March 21, and will do so each morning on a weekly basis. (File)

Alabaster crews began spraying the city for mosquitoes along city rights-of-way on March 21, and will do so each morning on a weekly basis. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – As the warmer weather and longer daylight hours have arrived, Alabaster crews have resumed their efforts to control the potentially disease-carrying mosquito population in the city.

Beginning the week of March 21, the city started using its spray truck to distribute insecticide along public rights-of-way each morning. Alabaster Public Works Department employees also began working to eliminate areas of standing water in public areas throughout the city to help combat possible breeding grounds for the insects.

While Alabaster’s efforts aim to combat the mosquito population in the city, Alabaster City Manager George Henry encouraged residents to also take further precautions to help in the fight.

“Please do not rely solely on this program to control mosquitoes,” Henry wrote on the city’s Facebook page. “We do have ordinances to discourage environments wherein the nuisance of mosquito breeding grounds exist. If you see this type of condition, please use our online report a concern so we can investigate.”

Because Public Works will only be treating public rights of way, the city is encouraging all residents to take steps to keep mosquitoes out of their yards:

Remove standing water – Adult mosquitoes lay eggs in stagnant or slow-moving water, so eliminating these water sources can prevent future generations of these pests from calling your yard home.

Toss and turn the items in your yard – Remove excess grass, leaves, firewood and clippings from your yard. Mosquitoes like dark patches of foliage because it serves as a place for them to rest.

-Grow your own insect repellants – If you’re interested in more natural ways to keep mosquitoes away, there are many plants with mosquito-repelling properties. Citronella, pennyroyal, basil, catnip and lemongrass are good choices.

-Add mosquito-eating species to your environment – If you’ve got a pond, adding fish such as bluegills, minnows, green sunfish and gambusia can help control mosquitoes in water.

-Wear bright colors -Dark clothing attracts mosquitoes, so wear bright-colored clothing when spending time outdoors. Keep fabrics looser, too, because some mosquitoes can bite through tighter-fitting clothing.

-Protect yourself while outdoors -Before stepping outside, spray an insect repellent on exposed skin. The Center for Disease Control has identified three ingredients that are effective as long-lasting insect repellents: DEET, Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus.