Havre Daily News
If you've noticed a lot of mosquitoes recently, you're not the only one. Hill County Mosquito District coordinator Terry Turner said there are three times more mosquitoes now than at this time last year. What's more, Turner and his crew have had little opportunity to fight them.
Sunday was the first time the crew was able to fog for mosquitoes on Havre's streets in two weeks, he said. Turner's crew can only fog on nights when the wind is less than 5 mph.
Turner said he hopes to get out and fog this week. His truck can be identified by a flashing amber light.
"When people see the amber light flashing, just get out of the way for five or 10 minutes," he said.
Spring rains account for the number of mosquitoes and their appearance relatively early in the season, Turner said.
His crew placed mosquito-fighting pellets in reservoirs in late spring to stop the development of mosquitoes, but residents can help too, he said. People can check to be sure there is no standing water on their property. Old tires and potholes are common culprits, he said.
One type of mosquito found in Montana can produce 250 offspring in just one cup of water, Turner said. That would mean 10,000 mosquitoes could be produced in a 5-gallon bucket of standing water.
The pellets Turner uses are available for sale to residents who want to do their part, he said. A canister costs about $11. That amount should be able to stop mosquito production in 8,700 square feet of water, he said.
The pellets, called Altosid, stop the life cycle of the mosquito without endangering humans, animals or plants, Turner said.
Turner's favorite example - the pellets can be placed directly into a pet's drinking water and are less harmful than sugar. The pellets don't kill the larvae; they keep them from maturing, he said.