Complaints on mosquitos rise for St. John

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 2, 2006


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – Mosquitoes are as common in Louisiana as the summer heat, but an inordinate amount of the pesky bugs has prompted parish residents to approach their council members to see exactly what is being done to relieve the itchy situation.

Councilman Ronnie Smith of District 6 included the item on the council’s agenda Tuesday, citing that he has received numerous complaints by phone and email from his constituents who say that enough isn’t being done for mosquito control.

Wayne Machado, president of the parish-hired firm Mosquito Control Inc., was on hand at Tuesday’s council meeting to answer questions and give a full report of mosquito control in St. John.

&#8220Two weeks ago, we collected six samples that tested positive for West Nile Virus and St. Louis Encephalitis,” Machado said. &#8220That takes precedence in our minds.”

Machado said that in addition to the trucks that spray St. John, the company also employs the use of aerial spraying by plane, the most recent on Sept. 21 that covered Reserve, the west bank of St. John, and LaPlace up to the St. Charles parish line.

&#8220The aerial spray did a lot of good, but it hasn’t solved the entire problem,” Machado said. &#8220The trucks are going to have to do that.”

The most recent tests done for West Nile showed no signs of the virus, and a slowing in the number of mosquitoes reported both lead Machado to believe his company is progressing in the right direction. He did note, however, that it is rather difficult to keep up with the demands of the parish, especially with the sheer volume of mosquitoes surfacing in the late days of summer.

&#8220While one area may be bad, there are several other areas that may be worse off,” Machado said. &#8220We don’t spray on any set schedule, we allow the mosquitoes to tell us where we should be. It may be LaPlace today and Edgard or Reserve the next.”