Mosquito Spraying Helping Some Tulsa Neighborhoods

Saturday, July 8th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

June's showers bring on a bumper crop of mosquitoes.

Even though it's getting hot, there's enough water sticking around so mosquito eggs are flourishing.

After hundreds of calls for help, the Tulsa County Health Department is fighting back.

Two Tulsa County Health Department workers sprayed Tulsa and Tulsa County Friday evening, because that is when the female mosquitoes are looking for blood.

They need that food to lay eggs.

Those eggs remain dormant until they find water.

And June's rains helped them, but didn't help us.

Mosquitoes have nipped away at 13-year old Trey Edwards. He has one word to describe how they feel.

"They itch and itch and itch," says Edwards.

His father has been out of town on business, so he's taking care of the barbecuing. Even though it's hot, he's wearing pants, to keep the mosquitoes away. He'd much rather have on shorts.

In just three days, five hundred and fourteen people have called the Tulsa County Health Department for help to fight off the pesky insect.

The more complaints from a particular neighborhood, the closer that neighborhood moves towards the top of the list, and to get a spraying from the mosquito control truck.

"It stays up in the air for a couple hours, but it has to land on a mosquito, so it is only good for the mosquitoes that are out when we are driving by,” says John Zima, Tulsa County Health Department.

Mosquitoes don't come out until the evening, so the health department sends out its two trucks every evening and night during the workweek. They send one for five hours, the other for nine or ten hours until the early morning hours.

Mosquito eggs are hatching because water from June is still sticking around. Mosquitoes need only a tiny bit of water to breed, even a hole in a tree can hold enough water to become a home.

Trey Edwards knows, he lives near a creek, pond and lots of trees.

That's why he felt some relief when he saw the mosquito control truck drive by.

"I see a little bit of difference after they spray then before they do,” says Edwards.

If you live in Tulsa or Tulsa County, you call the Mosquito Complaint Hotline at 595-4219.

This is a case where complaining pays off, because the neighborhoods with the most gripes, gets sprayed first.