By Kelly Young

With the threat of West Nile Virus (WNV) and the general nuisance presented by biting insects, the city of Jacksonville will be chemically spraying every Jacksonville street at least once this summer to help neutralize the mosquito population.

According to City Manager Mo Raissi, the city has been spraying for the last week or two, and will finish another round of treatment by June 1.

“We do this each year during the summer months to help kill as many mosquitoes as possible. Mosquitos are West Nile Virus vectors, and we have to do what we can to limit that,” Raissi said. “We spray in the summer because the temperature has to be at certain level for the chemicals to be effective. If you spray while it is still cold, the chemicals won’t kill the mosquito eggs.”

Mosquito spraying is done in rounds, with different areas being sprayed each time. Each street will be treated at least once, and several roads will be sprayed multiple times, Raissi said.

“West Nile can cause all kinds of problems. In a previous city that I worked in, we did not have a mosquito program like we have here, and several people got sick from West Nile Virus,” he said.

Kenneth Doman, pretreatment coordinator for the city, also acts as Jacksonville’s mosquito exterminator.

“On top of his other duties, he is our licensed applicator. He personally sprays all the streets, with the help of assistants from the utility department,” Raissi said. “We bought a spraying machine with last year’s budget for about $10,000, and we mounted it into the back of a truck we were already using.”

The most effective method of limiting mosquito breeding sites is to remove the standing water the bugs use to lay their eggs. Puddles, ditches and swampy areas should be filled in when possible. Water from birdbaths and wading pools should be changed at least once a week. Rain gutters should be cleaned and stagnant water removed from flat roofs.

“The city does have chemical tablets that we put in stagnant water to kill mosquitos, Raissi said. “Citizens can contact the city of they have stagnant water around their homes, and we will come by and throw some tablets in to kill the mosquitos.”

WNV was first detected in America in 1999 and in Texas in 2002. Most people infected with the virus will suffer no symptoms at all. Approximately 20 percent of the people infected with WNV will develop mild flu-like symptoms, and less than one percent of those bitten by infected mosquitos will become severely ill.

The following streets will be treated May 29 through June 1:

Alabama, Adams, Alameda, Arnold, Albritton, Akers, Austin, Balas, Bonner, Alto, Avalon, Benson, Cherry, Andrews, Beaumont, Border, Commerce, Austin, Brookhollow, Burma, Georgia, Avalon, Brookside, Churchhill, Gillespie, Beaumont, Buckner, Clemons, Harrison, Bryan, Canada, Coleman, Hazel, Corinth, Circle, Columbia, Helen, Deaton, Dallas, Davis Huttash Ln., Gus, Edgewood, Debusk, Jefferson, Henderson, El Paso, Ellis, Johnson, Heritage, Elm, Esther, Kickapoo, Houston, Fort Worth, Forest, Ladd, Howard, Fulton, Fry, Lawrence, Jacksonville Dr., Hillcrest, Gaston, Lincoln, Kelly, James, Grant, Love St., Marshall, John, Greely , Madison, Mary Jane, Nacogdoches, Holloway, Main, Mason, Neches, Jeff Davis, Monroe, Meador, Newburn, Jones, Patton, Palestine, O’Keefe, Lincoln, Pine, Thomas, San Antonio, Looney, Pineda, Timothy, San Marcus, Loper, Ragsdale, Turney, San Saba, Marvin, Robinson, Tyler, South, McDonald, Rusk, Waco, MLK, San Jacinto , Wesley, Moore, Templeton, Willowcreek, Park, Texas, Woodcreek, Patrolman Lee, Travis, Wynn, Pierce, Washington, Rosalee, Sheridan, Sherman, Sims, Skyline and Wilkins.

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