City looks to swat mosquitosPublished 12:05am Saturday, September 1, 2012
NATCHEZ — The Natchez Board of Aldermen has requested a proposal for a Brandon disease control company to handle mosquito control in the city.
The aldermen requested a proposal for a basic mosquito plan to a fully integrated year-round program from Brett Killingsworth of Vector Disease Control International.
Killingsworth made a presentation to the aldermen during the finance session before their regular meeting Tuesday.
The city’s options, Killingsworth said, include a surveillance package, which would entail the company setting traps weekly for six months to determine what species of mosquitoes are in the city, if they carry West Nile and where they are concentrated.
The trapping and testing, Killingsworth said, would cost the city approximately $30,000 and allow the company to advise the city on where Natchez Public Works should concentrate spraying for mosquitoes and what chemicals to use.
The city could also contract the company to spray for mosquitoes, Killingsworth said.
A fully integrated program, which Killingsworth said Greenville, Jackson, Tunica and other cities have, would involve the company setting up shop in Natchez and essentially becoming part of public works.
The company would rent an office in the city, handle all calls from residents and test and spray for mosquitoes.
The program would also include two or three air treatments by the company’s plane.
Killingsworth said the company’s plane sprays all its contracted cities for the July 4 holiday and could also spray before events such as the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race.
Greenville pays approximately $250,000 each year for the fully integrated program, which it has had for six years, Killingsworth said.
Ward 2 Alderman Rickey Gray asked Killingsworth how many cases of West Nile Greenville has had since the company began the city’s program.
Killingsworth said Greenville has had only one case of West Nile since the city began the program five or six years ago.
According to the Mississippi Department of Health’s website’s yearly reports, Adams County has had one case of West Nile so far this year.
Adams County had not had any cases of West Nile since 2007, when there were five cases reported, according to MDH’s website.
The company, Killingsworth said, cannot guarantee a complete eradication of mosquitoes.
“But we will guarantee an 80-percent knockdown,” he said.
Mayor Butch Brown said he and Public Works Supervisor Justin Dollar met with Killingsworth prior to the aldermen meeting to discuss public works’ capabilities as far as spraying for mosquitoes.
Brown asked Killingsworth to submit a proposal to the city of the company’s most basic plan to the fully integrated program.
Ward 6 Alderman Dan Dillard pointed out that the city has money set aside for insect control.
Killingsworth said, when asked by Brown, that the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides some type of grants or reimbursement for mosquito control when dealing with West Nile.
Ward 5 Mark Fortenbery suggested the city talk to the county about partnering for a mosquito control program.