Okaloosa County Mosquito Control Begins

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The Okaloosa County Division of Environmental Services has begun spraying for mosquitoes. Okaloosa County and the State Department of Health urges the public to remain diligent in their personal mosquito protection efforts. These should include remembering to “SWAT.”

* Stay inside with screened doors and windows when mosquitoes are biting (dusk and dawn)

* When outside, wear clothing that covers skin

* Apply mosquito repellant that include DEET [N, N diethyl-m-toluamide] on skin when you are outside

* Turn over standing water where mosquito lay eggs. (rid your home of standing water in which mosquitoes can lay their eggs)

Okaloosa County sprays for mosquitoes county-wide, except on federal and stateowned land, weather permitting. Mosquito spray trucks operate from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Spraying is discontinued during rain and during winds of 10 mph or greater. The following is the Okaloosa County spray route schedule, weather permitting and justification of mosquito populations.

MONDAY:

* John Riley Barnhill Road to Escambia Farms

* Beaver Creek to Baker

* Crestview: Rattlesnake Bluff and Little Silver Road, Live Oak Church Road to John King, Hwy. 90 East to county line Road and north to Poverty Creek Road

* Destin, FWB ( Brooks street going west)

* Mary Esther, Wynn Haven Beach, and Valparaiso.

TUESDAY:

* Vinson Ray Road east side of Hwy 189 to Laurel Hill

* Wilkerson Bluff Road to Log Lake (Holt) west to County Line Road

* Crestview: John King to Hwy 90 East to Shoal River ridge, Old Antioch to Hwy 90 West

* Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Wynnehaven Beach, Bluewater Bay and Cinco Bayou.

WEDNESDAY:

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* Galliver Cut Off to Milligan and back to Baker

* Garden City to Laurel Hill

* Crestview: Old Bethel Road to Airport Road, south of Hwy 90 west to Duggan Street; Fairchild Road to Hwy 85 to Airport Road

* Shalimar, Streets off of Lewis Turner Blvd. and Niceville

THURSDAY:

* Poverty Creek Road, Hwy 393 to Campton, Old River Road to Vinson Ray Road (from Milligan to Baker)

* Crestview: Lake Silver Road to Airport Road to Auburn area

* Poquito Bayou area, Ocean City, Mooney Road area, and Niceville.

Other Areas of Concern:

* Wetlands; properties bordering Eglin A.F.B., which are not treated; and property owners unaware that they are creating mosquito breeding sites.

* Night time temperatures

* Standing water; eliminating should be at the top of everyone’s ‘to do list’ right now!

* Children’s pools, plant pots, old tires, leaf piles, pet watering bowl and gutters daily for standing water and says even something as simple as a soda lid can literally breed hundreds of mosquitoes.

Mosquito spraying and control reminders:

* Mosquito spray trucks will not spray areas if residents are outside.

* When the lights on top of the vehicle are on, spraying is taking place.

* The new sprays are odor free and equipment is very quiet. If the light is on, the area is being sprayed even if there is no odor or noise.

* Please do not stop drivers, as they must discontinue spraying. Questions or comments should be directed to the Mosquito Control Division at 651-7394.

In addition to spraying, the county has an aggressive larvaciding program in place that includes more than 1,138 sites treated and checked on a regular basis. Okaloosa County has contracted with Florida A&M University to trap and test mosquito and wild bird populations weekly to help identify species, determine potential disease threats, verify spraying needs and collect data on weather trends in order to make appropriate adjustments for affected areas. Additionally, more than 600 ponds and areas with standing water are treated with Gambusia fish, which eat larva and reproduce at incredible rates.

Residents are also reminded to have outdoor animals vaccinated against disease. Horses should be vaccinated against Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Although West Nile and EEE can occur throughout the year, peak season is August, September and October. Horses must receive two vaccine injections 3 to 6 weeks apart and then it is recommended every 3 to 6 months. Dog owners are also reminded to have pets treated for heartworms, as mosquitoes carry the disease as well.

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