Polk Co. Public Works Begins Battle to Fight Mosquitoes

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- If you made your way outdoors last weekend, you probably noticed how bad the mosquitoes were. There’s good news for central Iowans, relief is on its way.

On Wednesday, Polk County Public Works wages war on the mosquito population in central Iowa and they’re bringing in some heavy equipment. A helicopter is being flown in to distribute a chemical that is very effective in preventing mosquito eggs from hatching.

“Sure it is. I know people think the mosquitoes are bad right now but as the year goes on it usually gets worse. Towards the end of the summer, that is when some of the potential virus carrying species come into play,” said Dave Williamson Polk Co. Public Works.

Williamson goes on to say that last year was rough and he expects this year to be just as bad.

The public works teams will target swampy areas with high mosquito populations with the helicopter, that comes in only once a year. Estimated cost for the helicopter is $11,000 per flight.

Williamson says while they will target hard to reach areas there is plenty people at home can do.

“The main things are if you have bird baths and dog bowls, change that water frequently,” said Williamson. “The other would be, if you have old tires in your yard discard those because they will breed in those tires. Buckets, make sure you keep those empty. Tarps and kiddie pools make sure you keep those drained.”

Over the next few weeks, Polk County will also begin their control sprays in neighborhoods and unincorporated parts of the county. Polk County utilizes data collected from Iowa State University on mosquito populations to determine where to spray. Polk County uses this information to maintain a cost effective adulticide spray program.