“This operation is the result of a lot of hard work by the department, other agencies, and our partners in the private sector,” Commissioner Comer said. “If the weather cooperates, citizens and tourists near the lakes soon will see some relief from this year’s severe mosquito infestation.”
The contractors — Clarke, a global environmental products and services company based in Roselle, Ill., and Dynamic Aviation of Bridgewater, Va. — are scheduled to begin applying the product Friday night, weather permitting. They will treat an area within two miles of the lakes from the northernmost point of the lakes south to U.S. 68 — a total of 132,000 acres. Product will be applied at a rate of 0.8 ounce per acre.
The treatment will knock down the woodland and floodwater mosquitoes that have emerged in larger-than-usual numbers this year because of heavy rains in the area. The treatment also is expected to significantly reduce numbers of later-season mosquito varieties that tend to carry diseases, including West Nile Virus.
No special precautions are necessary during the application, according to Clarke, but the company encourages residents with individual health concerns to contact their healthcare providers.
Comer directed the department’s Office for Consumer and Environmental Protection to arrange the aerial treatment after receiving numerous calls from local officials in the area asking for help in addressing the mosquito infestation. The office sent six trucks to treat the area for two weeks, but crews found that the scope of the infestation was beyond the department’s capability to control from the ground.