Mosquito mills on Saturday’s ballot

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 16, 2008


News Editor

LAPLACE—Although issues such as parish bonds and the Garyville incorporation have overshadowed it, voters on July 19 will have to decide whether to renew the millage for mosquito control.

According to St. John Parish Public Information Officer Buddy Boe, the current .48 mills bring in $126,000 to supplement the contract with St. John Mosquito Control.

Saturday’s vote includes no tax raise; it is merely a renewal of the millage already in place.

Each utility customer in the parish also is assessed $2.50 monthly for mosquito control.

The revenue generated goes to a number of operations conducted by Mosquito Control said Steve Pavlovich, an entomologist with Mosquito Control.

The most visible of these is the trucks that spray neighborhoods at ground level. These trucks, said Pavlovich, pass roughly once a week, though there is no set schedule because they are directed toward areas of higher mosquito concentration first.

Mosquito Control also uses airplanes to supplement truck spraying and to suppress the spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus.

Besides spraying, the agency conducts surveillance of both insects and birds to determine both mosquito concentration and whether any mosquito-borne diseases are present.

Also, after heavy rains, Mosquito Control applies anti-bacterial and hormone agents to places likely to contain standing water to control mosquito larvae.

Lastly, Pavlovich said Mosquito Control uses the money collected from the millage to educate the public about ways to reduce the mosquito population and to avoid getting bitten by disease-carrying bugs.

According to Boe, no changes are in store regarding parish mosquito control, and the measure is expected to pass.

“Mosquito control is something everybody wants,” Boe said.