Mosquito Battle Continues - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Mosquito Battle Continues

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Air Force Reserve planes that were to have sprayed for mosquitoes in western North Dakota this week won't be going into the air.

Bad weather and equipment problems combined to derail that effort.

In Williston, that means the battle against the bugs falls to the Vector Control District.

Jim Olson reports on the extended fight against mosquitoes in Williston.

Air Force Reserve planes can take a big bite out of the bugs that plague this region. But there's much more to the effort to keep mosquitoes at bay. From spraying breeding areas like this one, to putting local planes into the air, the fight goes on.

(Fran Bosch, Williston Vector Control) "This year has been a strange one."

Fran Bosch leads the Vector Control team in Williston that takes on the mosquitoes when they're larvae and when they're adults.

(Fran Bosch, Williston Vector Control) "Where we do find them a lot of times they're in such huge areas that we need aerial support to do that."

(Rick Marburger, Williston Vector Control) "Yeah, this year we've been in the air a lot more"

Rick Marburger is what Bosch calls the unsung hero of the bug battle. He flies this twin-engine plane to fog for adult mosquitoes - mostly at dusk when they're most active.

(Rick Marburger, Williston Vector Control) "We'll fly right directly over the city until we've got the area covered."

He also flies this yellow beast - a 750 horsepower plane that kills mosquito larvae at the rate of 1200 acres an hour, and is quite hi-tech.

(Rick Marburger, Williston Vector Control) "It's actually difficult for me because I know where the whole area is, I've got it right here but it's gotta be put in the computer first now."

But the battle's not all in the air - Vector Control also operates trucks, ATVs, and Argos to spray at ground level. Jacob Telehey and Nathan Anderson take on mosquitoes up close in places like this small pond on the northeast side of Williston.

(Nathan Anderson, Williston Vector Control) "This pond's been here the past three years I've been working here and it's just as bad as any other but it's a spot we have to hit a couple of times."

(Jacob Telehey, Williston Vector Control) "It's a good job, it's enjoyable and it's fun coming back with the guys every year and you do a lot of work but it's a good job."

The pair say they're finding fewer hot spots to hit now as the season winds down, but still, their boss says

(Fran Bosch, Williston Vector Control) "This year's been a battle for sure."

A battle the Vector Control crew joins on many fronts. In Williston, Jim Olson, KX News.

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