City of Sioux Falls sprays zones to control mosquito population

Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 6:11 PM CDT
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The City of Sioux Falls is working to control the mosquito population around the Sioux Empire.

During three nights this week, staff will be spraying sections of the city.

Sioux Falls has 17 mosquito spraying zones throughout the city. Mosquito traps in all those zones are checked and studied weekly to see if their population is going up or going down.

“Monday through Friday we have someone go out and collect the contents of the trap. We bring them back to our lab and ID them down to genus and species,” Sioux Falls Health Program Coordinator Denise Patton said.

Patton says usually they focus on high population areas when spraying, but this week is different.

She added, “This week we are spraying the entire city because over a third of our traps were hitting those thresholds, so when it gets that high we know that they fly and they don’t know boundaries, that it is time for us to get out and knock those numbers down.”

Patton says that backyard swimming pools have certain chemicals that should keep mosquitoes away, but other sitting water around the house could cause some problems.

“Sitting water is the dangerous stuff, so if it has a flow in it like a birdbath or a coy pond, you’re okay. If it’s a kitty pool that you haven’t tended to in two, three weeks and it’s green and just sitting there, that’s when things get problematic,” Patton said.

The City’s Mosquito Control sprays zones at night when the mosquitoes are active. Patton says the water-based chemical they use is safe.

"It’s shot through a nozzle on the back of our truck that is designed to shoot it into a billion tiny particles, but those particles are distributed at less than one teaspoon of active ingredient per acre.” She continued, “It’s very, very dilute.”

And the place where you’ll see the most mosquitoes are, “In the daytime, I would say in those shaded areas or longer grass areas are going to have probably a higher number than the really open areas, but then again dawn and dusk are historically when mosquitoes are the most active,” said Patton.

If you’d like to get text alerts about when and where the city will be spraying you can text “SPRAY” to 888-777.