To trap or spray: E. Texas cities approach mosquito control diff - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

To trap or spray: E. Texas cities approach mosquito control differently

A GRAVID trap captures mosquitoes so a population count can be taken. A GRAVID trap captures mosquitoes so a population count can be taken.
The last line of defense, spraying mosquitoes with chemicals from a truck. The last line of defense, spraying mosquitoes with chemicals from a truck.
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Some cities choose to trap mosquitoes first, while others choose to go straight for the spray.

In Longview, they trap mosquitoes first to determine population.

"We just don't believe we're going to get the returns with just a blanket spray," Longview Environmental Health Supervisor Buck Farrar said.

Longview's philosophy, Farrar said, is that trapping shows where large numbers of mosquitoes are so they can spray more effectively.

Farrar says if the mosquito count is above one hundred in an area, Longview will spray.

In Tyler, NET Health uses a blanket spray approach in areas where citizen complaints are the highest, but does not set traps to see the exact number of mosquitoes.

Brenda Elrod says Tyler has enough chemical to use the spray method first.

"If you target as well as cover the area, which is what we try to do because we do have adequate chemical, then that's probably the better way," Elrod said.

But University of Texas - Tyler Professor Dr. Blake Bextine said determining an accurate count, then spraying is the most effective way.

"Sampling for mosquitoes before spraying is preferable, that way you know exactly where you're spraying and what type of mosquito you're going after," Bextine said.

As for tracking mosquitoes with traps or complaints, Bextine said responses from the community are important, but leaving it to professionals is key.

"If people call in and say they're having a mosquito outbreak, that can be helpful, but really the professional needs to come out and see what kind of mosquitoes we have and what numbers we have," Bextine said.

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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