Bad weather hampering Chatham Co. mosquito fight

(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Mosquito Control crews in Chatham County are trying to continue the aggressive fight against the mosquito population, but they're fighting mother nature, as the ninth batch - this year - tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The early evening storms have already hampered a number of treatments they've done. Monday night, the skies opened again when the choppers were about to head up.

They were gearing up to target some bad areas in southern Chatham County.

"It's what we live by. The weather is pretty much keeping us going and can stop us," said Jeff Heusel, the director of Chatham County Mosquito Control.

Heusel said bad weather has prevented them from getting as much done as they want. Treatment like this is especially important with another positive test for West Nile Virus.

"It's something to be concerned about. It's nothing to panic about at this point, but the fact that we have detected at least in one mosquito that we've found means that we have to be more vigilant and we'll start doing a little treatment in those areas," said Heusel.

An update from Mosquito Control shows the disease and nuisance mosquitoes in the moderate level. Compared to last year, the disease threat is down, but nuisance biters are a little up because of the problems with weather.

When it comes to treatment—getting ahead of it is the biggest thing.

"We're not going to wait to do any treating until we have a human case. If you do that, basically you're really behind the 8-ball. By that time, the disease has probably gotten very well ramped up within the mosquito population," said Heusel.

Another area of concern is eastern Chatham County towards the Islands. For those living and working out there, any help is appreciated.

"It works very well for me because I work outside. I landscape. Whatever the county is doing to help us out, it's really appreciated - very much," said resident Todd Ziel.

"They do a good job in this neighborhood. I heard other people complain but I don't have no complaints at all," said Larry Klopp.

In order to keep reviews like that, these choppers need to spend a lot more time in the air and less time on the ground.

It's important to note—Heusel said these disease mosquitoes don't tend to be big biters. It does still happen though.

That's why it's important to always take the necessary steps to keep yourself safe. Mosquito Control and the Georgia Department of Public Health want you to follow the five "D's" of mosquito bite prevention.

First, know that mosquitoes come out more at dusk and dawn. If you're outside, make sure your arms and legs are covered.

When you use bug spray, double check to make sure it contains DEET. Drain any standing water outside of your home, and make sure screens are locked in place on doors and windows.

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