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Here's how Shelby County is fighting mosquitoes in your neighborhood

Shelby County Vector Control has been treating different zip codes for mosquitoes and checking them for viruses.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As we get closer to summer, we all have plans to get outside and some people may entertain in their yard.

But, It’s that time of year again, mosquito season.

Throughout the year, they treat, trap and collect mosquitoes. You may have seen their trucks driving around your neighborhood.

In less than a month, it will be officially summer. We have already had our fair share of record-breaking heat. But, all it takes is for temperatures to stay above 80° consistently and mosquitoes will start to breed.

Kasia Smith-Alexander, an environmental health administrator with Shelby County Health Department, says, “That’s when they really are thriving and out the most and that’s why we tell people that when you do something outside, at least if it’s dusk, make sure that you have on long sleeves, make sure you have on long pants, because that is when they are the most active.”

We have had several rounds of rain this week, which means that there may be some standing water in your yard or around your neighborhood.

“Old toys in the backyard, someone put a tire in the backyard, they had a dog and the dog is now deceased but the bowl is still back there, those types of things will harbor mosquitoes”, adds Smith-Alexander.

Shelby County Vector Control suggests that you Tip & Toss any standing water in your yard.

Mosquito treatment doesn’t just happen in the spring.

Shelby County Vector Control works year-round tracking different types of larva that live in the community.

Smith-Alexander says, “We treat all-year long. What we do in the wintertime is make sure that we are larviciding, which means making sure that there are no mosquito larva present. We treat ditches later in the summer. So, when we get to this time of the year, we are really targeting those adult mosquitoes, those pest mosquitoes and the mosquitoes that do create viruses.”

When Vector Control conducts their treatments, they bring back their samples to the mosquito lab at the health department so that they can search for any mosquitoes that may be carrying a virus.

“We want to specifically look for the ones that produce the West Nile, the ones that will carry the St. Louis Encephalitis, to make sure that we don’t have that presence here”, adds Smith-Alexander. 

The good news is that even though a mosquito might be carrying West Nile, that doesn’t mean that the humans in the area have the virus.

If you have a pool or pond in your yard that might be a mosquito breeding ground, Vector Control provides Mosquito fish that will eat the mosquito larva and keep it mosquito free throughout the whole season.

Mosquito fish are free to the public. If you would like to request some for a pond in your yard, you can call Shelby County Vector Control at 901-222-9715.

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