Health department begins spraying for mosquitoes in Columbia

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services will started its annual mosquito spraying Thursday night.

The Public Information Officer for the Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services, Andrea Waner, said the city started spraying along the MKT trails and the Grindstone trails in Columbia at 11 p.m. and will continue until Friday morning at 6 a.m.

Waner said the city sprays for mosquitoes to help with disease reduction.

"We don't want mosquitoes to be breeding in certain areas that a lot of people are going to be in," Waner said. "You think about people being on the trails and kids and adults with maybe compromised immune systems. The fewer mosquitoes, the fewer diseases that are spread throughout."

Waner said during the two years she has worked at the health department she has not seen any cases of West Nile Virus, but people are still interested in the city's precaution to maintain the safety.

"Usually people are really receptive to having the mosquito sprayed, to having the trails sprayed, because they want to feel safe while they are out being physically active during the summer," Waner said.

She said the Environmental Protection Agency approved the chemical, Anvil 2+2, used on trails is safe for people and animals.

Waner said spraying is weather dependent.

"Think of all of the rain we got last week," Waner said. "It did not make sense to put it out there then because there wouldn't be much of a benefit. It's been drier lately, it's been hotter. That's more of the season for mosquitoes, so that's why we're going to start now as opposed to last week when it was raining so much. And we'll go until September or August, one of the two, depends on 'is it still hot in September?'"

She said people should expect to see a small red Chevrolet truck driving during spraying season.

"Any time anybody spots that truck on the trail, they'll know that it's somebody from the health department," Waner said. "It's a well marked truck."

The city will spray each Thursday night and Friday morning until early fall.

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