Officials take bite out of mosquitoes

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Spring is quickly changing into summer. School children will soon be free of their books; families will soon be packing the cars and embarking on their yearly vacations.

Despite the thrills of summer, though, there remains an ever-present negative.

Mosquitoes.

According to Barbara Casey, a secretary with the Selma Public Works Department, the department has already started spraying for the ubiquitous insects.

And keep calling. Casey regularly fields requests for the department to spray for mosquitoes. Before noon on Tuesday she had already received requests for Jerome Street and Summerfield Road.

Phoning in a request is the only way to get Selma’s lone mosquito-spraying truck dispatched. There is no set route the truck follows regularly. Instead, when Casey gets a request, she forwards it to Selma Public Works Director Tommy Jones. From there, it’s sent to Assistant Director Ernest Jones, who drives the truck.

Jones begins fulfilling the spray requests around 5 p.m. each day.

Some nights the truck doesn’t make the rounds, but it has been known to hit the streets if enough calls are received.

Casey emphasized the chemical used &045;&045; Permanone &045;&045; doesn’t have a smell like the previous insecticide, Malathon.

Residents make a request and the truck is dispatched, only to have residents call back when they can’t smell the spray.

Residents, though, don’t have to wait for the mosquito truck to halt the summer insects.

Casey advised Selmians to get rid of old tires or empty pots that may be on their property. Water collects in the tires and pots and makes a perfect place for mosquitoes to breed.

That’s some advice Selmian Mallieve W. Breeding can agree with.

Breeding said she’d prefer if mosquito spraying never occurred, and that the problem could be solved if people would only take the effort to get rid of standing water.

Breeding &045;&045; who says she’s allergic to the sprayed chemicals &045;&045; doesn’t want the area around her house sprayed for mosquitoes.

Selma residents should be able to choose whether they want their streets sprayed, she added.

Currently, if a request is made for a street to be sprayed, the request is carried out.