West Memphis looks to get the jump on mosquito season

West Memphis looks to get the jump on mosquito season

Officials concerned over West Nile, Zika virus potential after wet spring


What’s that buzz? For the West Memphis City Council, it’s asking for an early start to mosquito control.

With a couple of big rain events in the last month coupled with the attention to the new mosquito born virus the city decided to get an earlier start this year.

No mosquito diseases have been reported in Arkansas this year. There was a case of West Nile (WNV) meningitis reported late in the summer last year by a West Memphis man. There were two WNV related deaths reported in Arkansas last year. Now new fears about the Zika virus have arisen, with more than 300 cases in the U.S., including two confirmed cases in Arkansas since January.

So with new reports up, West Memphis wants to put the mosquito population down. Councilman Willis Mondy addressed both Public Works Commission and the full City Council about getting a

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jump on Mosquitos.

He asked residents for help in eliminating breeding grounds for the pests by properly disposing old tires and wanted to see evening time spraying by the city contractor.

“On the tire situation, it is coming up on mosquito season,” said Mondy at the Public Works Commission meeting. “We need to get a head start on the service. We pay Vector all year round. We need

Photos by Mike Douglas

Lads and Ladies at Marion Middle School

It was the young men’s turn last week at Marion Middle School. After a father/daughter dance last fall, the boys had a chance to spend an evening with their moms at the first, and hopefully annual, “Lads and Ladies” Dance. And of course, you’ve got to get a photo to commemorate the occasion. them to start early.”

“Normally, we are already started,” said Mayor Bill Johnson in reply at City Council.

City Treasurer Frank Martin said he would contact the new city purchasing agent to make sure the order to get to work happens.

Not all mosquitos carry disease. Only when a mosquito bites an infected bird and then bites a human is there a chance for a person to get sick. 80 percent of those being stung by a mosquito with either Zika or West Nile Virus are asymptomatic. WNV cannot be spread by person to person contact.

The Center for Disease Control made recommendations for avoid mosquito bites. Use insect repellent or wear protective clothing when outside especially in the evening. Keep mosquitos outside. Make sure your door and window screens are in good repair, or just keep the windows shut and use the air conditioner.

By John Rech