Posted: Feb 28, 2014 5:16 PM by Troy Gaulden
Updated: Feb 28, 2014 6:52 PM
DENHAM SPRINGS - Mosquito experts say to expect an "explosion" of mosquitoes in Livingston Parish when mosquito control stops spraying in the parish in 2015.
Livingston Parish Mosquito Abatement Director Jeanine Tessmer says mosquitoes will be everywhere when mosquito control closes its doors.
"There will be nothing to hold them back, nothing to stop them at all," she said.
Mosquito control charges more than 46,000 parish residents thirty dollars a year, but a growing number of residents don't pay the bill.
"I can't buy chemicals to spray around the parish or pay the wages to the people that do the work if I don't have the money to do so," said Tessmer.
Mosquito control tried to tack the fee onto property tax, but voters struck it down twice. The district will use reserve funds to keep spraying through 2014. Mosquito control expects to fold sometime in 2015.
"The equipment will be sold off. No one will be doing mosquito control in Livingston Parish, and that's the end of the story," said Tessmer.
From 2002 to 2005 Livingston Parish saw 34 cases of neuroinvasive West Nile virus infections. Mosquito abatement started spraying and the number of cases dropped to only six in the past seven years. People we spoke with today in Livingston Parish say they're worried about the threat of West Nile.
"It would be nice to know that my grandchildren could go outside and I would not have to worry that they could contract something like West Nile," said Kerry Rogers.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says they're concerned about what may occur in Livingston Parish in the future without some form of mosquito control.