Vector Control Begins in Bismarck - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Vector Control Begins in Bismarck

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It's skeeter swattin' season and one group in Bismarck is working to make sure less of those mosquitoes are making you a meal.

Reporter Macy Egeland and Photojournalist Thomas Palanuk met up with them before the sunrise this morning and have this story.

It's going to take a lot more than a few birds to manage the thousands of mosquitoes swarming the city.

That's where the Bismarck Fire Department comes in..

It's the first day of this year's vector control, and these four are dedicated to dead mosquitoes.

"I don't like them so I'm glad I do this.. so then I can get rid of them," Shaylee Meyer said.

Shaylee Meyer has been a part of Bismarck's vector control for 3 years now..

"I'm usually not a morning person but I dont mind it actually," she said.

All summer long, she and 3 of her coworkers are up at the crack of dawn, fogging different areas around town to get rid of mosquitoes.

"Walking paths, bike paths, golf courses, that kind of thing," Anton Sattler with the Bismarck Fire Department said.

Their boss, Anton Sattler says they fog 20 different places at least once a week.

But they aren't just killing the mosquitoes that already exist... they get to them before they're even born.

"Approximately 49 bodies of water that we'll treat throughout Bismarck," Sattler said.

Sattler says Bismarck has been taking extra efforts to minimize mosquitoes since 2006..with an annual budget of around $53,000 dollars.

"I'm always asked is it going to be a bad year for mosquitoes and I really dont know, I dont have a crystal ball but I can tell you this.. it's kind of contingent on 2 things.. one, hot weather and two, moisture.. a lot of moisture a lot of stagnant water for them to lay their eggs in," Sattler said.

The group throws a special kind of bacteria into the water that deforms mosquitoes while they're young so they can't fly once they mature..

"The smaller ones go in the shallower area basically," Meyer said.

and the bigger ones.. "We throw out as far as we can... I don't have a very good arm," Meyer said.

They target all types of mosquitoes, but the ones they want to impact the most are vector mosquitoes that can spread diseases like West Nile.

"I don't like them at all so I think this is a good program. It helps a lot," Meyer said.

Four people, doing all of this, to keep us safe from mosquito bites and the diseases they may carry.

Macy Egeland.. KX news.

Even though the vector control gets rid of many of the mosquitoes, Sattler says it's still important to wear long sleeves, pants and bug repellant when you're outside.

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