Hayden gets ready for aerial attack

Residents feel sting of mosquito problem


— Complaints from residents regarding mosquitoes have become so frequent, Town Hall representatives have decided it is time to take action an aerial assault on the pests has been planned for this week.

On Tuesday, Town Manager Rob Straebel said he started to make arrangements for the town and two miles surrounding its limits to be sprayed with the chemical malathion.

"We have had numerous calls reporting the severity of the mosquitoes," Straebel said. "It has taken away the quality of life. We will spray as soon as possible."

The issue will be raised during the town's meeting set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Town Hall, 178 Jefferson Ave.

The town's intention to have an airplane spray for the blood-sucking insect hit a snag on Monday.

The town was notified by the Environmental Protection Agency it could not use a new chemical, aqua reslin, to kill mosquitoes in town. Earlier this month, the Town Board approved the use of aqua reslin instead of malathion for aerial sprays.

The reason the EPA is not allowing the chemical to be sprayed in Hayden is it wants more research done on the chemicals' effects on agricultural lands and pastures, Straebel said.

"Aqua reslin has been approved by the EPA for mosquito eradication for urban areas," Straebel said. "The EPA wants further study done for agricultural areas."

The town planned to use the water-based chemical because it breaks down more quickly in the environment and has the approval of the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

"The Department of Agricultural has tested it," Straebel said. "And they did not think it would harm humans, animals or plant life."

With the EPA's unwillingness to approve aqua reslin, the town has been forced to go back to malathion, which has been approved by the federal agency.

"The town used malathion last year for its two aerial sprayings," Straebel said. "It is used throughout the country for mosquito eradication.

"I feel comfortable using malathion, and our Town Board feels comfortable with it."

Straebel spent a portion of Tuesday on the telephone with agricultural property owners notifying them an aerial spray was being scheduled with malathion.

Final approval will come from the Routt County commissioners.

An aerial spray is what the town hoped to avoid as it took an aggressive approach this year in providing residents with a relief from mosquitoes.

Because of the problems residents encountered last year with the insect, the town tripled its mosquito budget.

In 2000, the town had a budget of $15,000 for mosquito control. This year the town has budgeted $45,000.


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