By Jay Polk
DOUGHERTY COUNTY, GA (WALB) – Dark clouds are filling the skies around South Georgia and that can only mean one thing. The rain is coming - again. While the totals for the last couple of months won't be setting any records, they are impressive. In Albany, we've picked up 14.83". Much higher than the normal total of 9.48" All of this rain means that there's plenty of standing water. No matter where you're looking, eastside or westside. In town or in the country there's water everywhere. For most people it's only an inconvenience, but Donnell Mathis sees something else. "I see a potential problem" he said. It's his crew that makes sure that people in Dougherty County don't get bitten by mosquitoes in Atlanta. All of this rain means that they'll be busy over the next couple of months.
According to Mathis, "we will have problems with mosquitoes at the beginning of our season." And if you think that the cold weather would have reduced the number of mosquitoes, think again. "The weather that we've had has NOT been cold enough to kill the mosquito larvae," said Mathis. To kill the mosquito larvae, the weather has to be below freezing all day long for two weeks. Since that didn't happen, residents will eventually see mosquitoes. When they do, they can call Mosquito Control and their trucks will spring into action. "We'll come out and do a surveillance. We'll come out and look around the homes and try to figure out what's causing the problem," said Mathis. But they're not just reactive, they're proactive too.
On a daily basis, mosquito control experts in Atlanta will go around and they'll put these things called dipping cups in the water. What they're looking for is mosquito larvae and when they find it, that's when they'll start treating. When larvae are found chemicals are applied to take care of the problem. It's important to keep the mosquitoes to a minimum, because they can carry some nasty diseases. "West Nile Virus is one of the main factors here in Dougherty County. Also they carry the Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Dengue, Yellow Fever," Mathis said. And over the next few months, Public Works will try to make sure that you stay safe from the bite of the mosquito. And Mathis says that you can help them by emptying out any outdoor containers around your home that can hold water.
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