In an abundance of caution, the City of Jacksonville will be enhancing mosquito control efforts as an additional protection against mosquito borne illnesses.
Onslow County officials have reported a case of mosquito-borne eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus after a horse died in Onslow County. This is the first case this year of encephalitis in Onslow County.
County officials have indicated that the horse did not live near Jacksonville, but City officials want to be overly cautious and create a barrier around the City as much as possible.
During late afternoons, (4PM to dusk) mosquito control will use mobile units to conduct barrier spraying. An all-terrain utility vehicle will be used for inside parks and wooded areas, while a full-sized pickup truck will be used in neighborhoods where there have been patterns of past mosquito issues and activity.
“We’re starting on the outer boundary of the City,” said Randy Gamble, Streets & Stormwater Supervisor. “Then we will work our way into the interior of the City.”
The action is precautionary and defensive.
“We’re going to be proactive, and I know the County is going to be proactive as well,” says Michael Whaley, Jacksonville Mosquito Control. “If you hear us out (during spray operations) go inside for 30 minutes to allow us to spray.”
Normal spraying times are late in the evening or early morning to avoid human contact and traffic. This increase in spraying necessitates additional hours where the spraying will be most effective.
Even with the spraying, residents can help advance abatement efforts by removing containers and surfaces that collect water where mosquitoes like to breed. Tip-and-Toss is an effective way to get rid of potential breeding areas. Residents also need to provide for personal protection against Mosquitoes.
“Use repellent containing DEET, or other approved insect sprays or lotions,” says Whaley. “Tip any standing water out of containers around your property, and toss anything that can hold water where mosquitoes can breed into your trash.”