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2une In has the latest on mosquito abatement innovations: drones, helicopters, and more

4 months 2 weeks 4 days ago Wednesday, July 13 2022 Jul 13, 2022 July 13, 2022 12:05 PM July 13, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - With concerns about West Nile Virus in East Baton Rouge Parish on the rise, the time to combat the spread is now: and that's exactly what Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control is doing. 

In Louisiana, there are currently have 46 species of mosquitos, the abatement team says. Two new species could make their way into the state soon. Some species can carry West Nile Virus.

Randy Vaeth, the Assistant Director at MARC, says that West Nile was detected in samples run over the past four weeks, with the exclusion of this week. That happened during the task force's lab testing, which they complete on a weekly basis to detect any threats of viruses. 

Thanks to new innovations welcomed by the force, combatting viruses like the potentially-deadly West Nile has become a little bit easier.

Recently, MARC got approval from counsel to welcome a helicopter onto their existing air fleet. Set to transition pesticide sweeps to larvicide sprays, Vaeth says it will make the entire process easier on the environment. 

While they wait on bidding for that helicopter, they aren't waiting on fighting against mosquitoes. A new program has been adopted to fight against the pests from the sky. The team now has its first drone, which will be used to spray larvicide.

Inspector Marcus Goss says they're expecting the drone to take flight as early as next week. 

The Mosquito Abatement team also says one of the easiest ways for populations to increase is when larvae sit in stagnant water. One strategy the task force uses is releasing a type of minnow in stagnant bodies of water to eat the larvae before they can mature.

They say the community can help combat the mosquito problem by making sure stagnant water doesn't sit for too long.

MARC holds seminars to educate others on mosquito problems and prevention. These seminars can be accessed on their website. 

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