Aerial mosquito spray coalition grows on South Plains, spray rescheduled

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 9:35 PM CDT
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UPDATE: “Due to scheduling conflicts, the aerial spray scheduled to occur between, Wednesday, June 22 - Friday, June 24th is cancelled. The aerial spray will be rescheduled, and update sent at that time.”

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - More cities are joining forces in an effort to eradicate mosquitoes in their communities by air, with the next application scheduled for June 22.

Since 2018, interlocal agreements have allowed smaller cities to utilize a contract the City of Plainview holds with Vector Disease Control International. If those cities, together, have at least 10,000 acres, then the company will come to the South Plains for aerial sprays.

“This is a very cost effective method for cities to take on and participate in, particularly because it costs a lot of money for each individual to have to do this on their own,” Elena Quintanilla, City Administrator for Ransom Canyon, said. “We’re spreading the cost across the board and also the cost of the chemical.”

Quintanilla coordinates the coalition. She told KCBD it’s grown to 25-30 cities in the last week.

“We work together,” Quintanilla said. “We collaborate and we understand each other. We come to the aid, to help each other out to protect our citizens. I feel that’s very important for us as West Texans. We’re fortunate that we can work together and collaborate on an effort that protects all of our citizens.”

The 15 cities that will be part of an aerial mosquito application on June 22.
The 15 cities that will be part of an aerial mosquito application on June 22.(Source: KCBD)

There will be 15 cities, totaling more than 23,000 acres, participating in this upcoming spray.

  • Smyer
  • Ralls
  • Anton
  • Idalou
  • Ransom Canyon
  • Earth
  • Post
  • Crosbyton
  • Tahoka
  • Brownfield
  • Shallowater
  • Big Spring
  • Wilson
  • Guthrie
  • Coahoma

“We have to make sure that the winds are at the right spot,” Quintanilla said. “A flight cannot take place unless the winds are below 11 miles per hour. Vector Disease Control International will come out here next week. They’ll start monitoring and they’ll stay on the ground until they can get the winds where we need them to be and they’ll start hopefully as early as Wednesday.”

According to Quintanilla, the application begins around 10:30 p.m. and will conclude around 3 to 4 a.m.

“The chemical is very safe,” Quintanilla said. “It’s even a chemical that we use, it’s Perm-X UL 31-66. It can be also applied on the ground so it is something commonly used, even for ground spraying. Once it applies, it’s as if a packet of Equal or Sweet & Low has actually hit one acre of ground. It’s very safe and less intrusive, in my opinion than ground spray.”

She said the goal is to keep residents safe, especially for July 4th celebrations.

“This is the time when people need to be protecting themselves from West Nile and other diseases that mosquitoes carry, Zika and other issues that can arise,” Quintanilla said. “We certainly want to ensure that people can be outdoors and feel comfortable about enjoying the festivities while we’re enduring the mosquitoes. Hopefully we can catch them. Some have hatched already and hopefully we can catch others before they do.”

For more information on VDCI aerial applications, click here.

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