Jul 11, 2023
How do they treat for mosquitoes when they're not even around?
By Heather Brown August 3, 2023 / 10:18 PM / CBS Minnesota DAKOTA COUNTY, Minn. – It's been so dry this summer, there's a good chance you haven't seen many mosquitoes. But that doesn't mean the
By Heather Brown
August 3, 2023 / 10:18 PM / CBS Minnesota
DAKOTA COUNTY, Minn. – It's been so dry this summer, there's a good chance you haven't seen many mosquitoes.
But that doesn't mean the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District (MMCD) isn't out looking for them.
A very muddy wetland inside Lebanon Hills Regional Park is Brian Feldhake's summer office.
RELATED: Mosquito numbers in metro are down compared to this time last year
"Typically we'll come out here with our dippers and see if we find mosquito larvae," Feldhake said. "Right now, there isn't a whole lot in this one."
Feldhake does spot a larvae, and sends it back to MMCD's St. Paul lab to see if this kind of mosquito would bite.
"And they will kind of give us the kind of red light or green light as far as should we treat it or not," he said.
Feldhake works to kill the mosquito babies before they become full-fledged bugs. He's just one of 200 people who do this work across the metro all summer.
On Thursday, he used a backpack applicator to blow out dry pellets called methoprene.
"It interrupts their normal hormone process," he said.
So the mosquito pupa never becomes an adult. It's a different treatment than the one that comes out of the helicopters. That's called BTI.
"It's a soil bacteria that's naturally occuring," he said.
RELATED: Why are some people more prone to mosquito bites?
And it's carried through dried-up kernels of corn to take out mosquito larvae.
"It basically gives them a fatal stomach ache," he said.
Is it unsafe to be outside when aerial spraying is underway for mosquitoes?
"Nope," Feldhake said. "A lot people think it's very entertaining to watch the pilots."
They're not spraying a liquid material – just pellets that only interact with mosquitoes.
Heather Brown loves to put her curiosity to work to answer your Good Questions on WCCO 4 News at 10, and helps you kick your weekdays off on WCCO This Morning and WCCO Mid-Morning.
First published on August 3, 2023 / 10:18 PM
© 2023 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.DAKOTA COUNTY, Minn.RELATED: Mosquito numbers in metro are down compared to this time last yearRELATED: Why are some people more prone to mosquito bites?