Cumberland County finds new way to fight mosquitoes - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Cumberland County finds new way to fight mosquitoes

Posted: Updated:
The larvicide "dunks" contain bacillus thuringiensis, which kills mosquito larvae. The larvicide "dunks" contain bacillus thuringiensis, which kills mosquito larvae.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

This summer the Cumberland County Health Department is using a mosquito control that is reportedly cheaper and more effective than spraying insecticides.

The department is giving away donut-shaped tablets that dissolve in water and kill mosquito larvae. The tablets, called mosquito "dunks," contain protein and Bacillus thuringiensis. Each dunk lasts 30 days and covers approximately 100 square feet of water. The tablets can be broken apart and used in smaller areas also.

"It can be used in lakes, fish ponds, bird baths, flower pots, aquatic gardens, flood-control basins, unused swimming pools and other areas where standing water creates a breeding ground for mosquitoes," read a statement from Daniel Ortiz.

Ortiz is Environmental Health Supervisor for the county. He said the larvicide dunks are an important way to cut down on the mosquito population.

"Not only are they pesky - they bite you - they are disease-carrying vectors," Ortiz said. "You have West Nile Virus, encephalitis, equina encephalitis, and all these are diseases that mosquitoes carry."

Cumberland County stopped spraying to kill mosquitoes after 2009. Budget cuts were part of the reason. Ortiz said it was also getting too expensive to buy the insecticide and pay for the equipment and labor to spray it. It was no longer a good return on investment he said.

"It's hit or miss with the spraying because unless a mosquito flies through the spray, it's not going to affect them... And it's short term," Ortiz explained. "The next day, two days later, you're going to have the new generation of mosquitos coming up to replace them."

The dunks are a more long-term solution. They are available at county health department on Ramsey Street. Each person who goes to pick up a dunk gets four dunks.

The program is funded in part by the North Carolina Division of Health and Human Services' State Aid for Mosquito Control. Ortiz said many people have already begun to use the dunks, and he will likely order more by the end of summer. The cost for those dunks would come from his health department budget.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

  • Fire at Saw Mill in Bedford County is under investigation

    Fire at Saw Mill in Bedford County is under investigation

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:55 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:55:50 GMT
    A fire ata saw mill in Bedford County is under investigation. It happened thisafternoon around 5 at Central Virginia Pallet and Stake on Centerville Road.Bedford County's Fire Chief says there were no injuries, but the owner estimates the damages at about $75,000The chief says thefire is still burning, and it will likely burn for a few days, but it is contained.The cause of the fire is unknown, butit's believed to be accidental.
    A fire ata saw mill in Bedford County is under investigation. It happened thisafternoon around 5 at Central Virginia Pallet and Stake on Centerville Road.Bedford County's Fire Chief says there were no injuries, but the owner estimates the damages at about $75,000The chief says thefire is still burning, and it will likely burn for a few days, but it is contained.The cause of the fire is unknown, butit's believed to be accidental.
  • 29 Virginia High Schools on Personal Finance Top-100 List

    29 Virginia High Schools on Personal Finance Top-100 List

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 9:32 PM EDT2014-04-23 01:32:06 GMT
    29 schools in the Commonwealth, including many in our area, ranked the the nation's top 100 best high schools for personal finance instruction.
    29 schools in the Commonwealth, including many in our area, ranked the the nation's top 100 best high schools for personal finance instruction.
  • Franklin Co. Sheriff's Office investigating juvenile death

    Franklin Co. Sheriff's Office investigating juvenile death

    Franklin Co. Sheriff's Office investigating juvenile death

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:50 AM EDT2014-04-22 14:50:58 GMT
    Deputies were called to Double Oaks Lane in the Burnt Chimney community, where they found a seven-year-old boy with a gunshot wound.
    Deputies were called to Double Oaks Lane in the Burnt Chimney community, where they found a seven-year-old boy with a gunshot wound.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • Mom wins lawsuit against TSA after breast milk screening problems

    Mom wins lawsuit against TSA after breast milk screening problems

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:40 PM EDT2014-04-23 20:40:54 GMT
    A Southern California woman who was held at a Phoenix airport four years ago after refusing to have her breast milk X-rayed has reached a settlement with the Transportation Security Administration. Stacey
    A Southern California woman who was held at a Phoenix airport four years ago after refusing to have her breast milk X-rayed has reached a settlement with the Transportation Security Administration. Stacey
  • Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Monday, April 14 2014 4:07 PM EDT2014-04-14 20:07:04 GMT
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.