Mosquito sprays planned for Hayden

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— Hayden and two miles of its surroundings will be sprayed with a chemical to kill off mosquitoes this weekend.

Hayden officials have planned for the town and 29 surrounding properties to be sprayed with malathion.

The aerial spray will be conducted either Saturday evening, Sunday morning or Sunday night, said Rob Straebel, town manager.

"The aerial spray is contingent on weather conditions," Straebel said. "It will be early in the morning or in the latter part of the evening."

Straebel planned the aerial assault on the pest earlier this week.

He got approval from the Town Board of Trustees and the Routt County commissioners.

The town has planned the spray because of the amount of complaints Town Hall has received from residents about the blood-sucking insect.

"They are thick," Straebel said.

The town has hired Blaine Tucker from Craig to spray malathion.

"We feel absolutely confident this will work," Straebel said. "Last year, we had great success."

Because of the problems residents encountered with mosquitoes last year, the town has taken an aggressive approach in trying to bring relief to residents.

The town tripled its mosquito budget in an effort to control the pest. In 2000, the town had a budget of $15,000. This year, the town has a budget of $45,000.

The town has budgeted $6,000 for aerial sprays this summer. The town is estimating the amount will be enough for two sprays.

Along with the aerial sprays, the town has two full-time employees working five days a week to control the mosquito population. Since April, Mable Salazar and Annette Reece have been spraying the chemical BTI in areas in town where mosquito breeding grounds have been identified.

For the aerial sprays, the town intended on using a new chemical, aqua reslin, but had that plan derailed by the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday.

The EPA has given its approval for aqua reslin to be sprayed in urban areas. However, the EPA wants further study done on the chemical before it is sprayed on agricultural land and pastures.

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