The City of Valdosta uses every resource available to municipalities to protect its citizens from mosquito-borne diseases through a Public Works operated spraying and larvicide program, a joint surveillance program with Valdosta State University and Lowndes County, and through public education.
City Spraying Program
The city operates a spraying program on a four-day cycle throughout the City with spraying five days a week, if needed, at dusk. Spraying typically begins in early April. In addition to the City’s normal spraying program, when an infected mosquito, human or animal is found, the City activates its response plan, calling for immediate, intensive and continued spraying in the areas where the viruses have been positively identified.
In addition to the spraying program, the City of Valdosta, the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners and the South Health District have had a joint mosquito surveillance program in place since 2001, working with Valdosta State University to collect and test mosquitoes. To aid in the city's surveillance program, mosquito traps are strategically located throughout the city limits.
The program in Valdosta and Lowndes County is the first program of its type in the region and one of the first in the state. The surveillance program provides data on vector and virus activity to local, state and national health agencies. There are several permanent sampling locations in Valdosta and Lowndes County, with additional collections taken from locations where there is suspicion of virus activity.
Surveillance of this type helps public officials to know if the human risk of disease is rising and to reduce mosquito breeding before it becomes a public health problem.
Treating Public Properties
The Public Works Department treats nearly two dozen bodies of stagnant water on public property each month utilizing Larvicide tablets. These tablets are also available for free to city residents who maintain their own privately-owned bodies of stagnant water.
The City utilizes all information resources to post educational information for citizens, including www.valdostacity.com, Metro Channel 17, City Beat newsletters, messages in the city utility bill, etc. Citizens with questions about mosquito safety may call the Public Works Department at 229-259-3597 or the South Health District at 229-333-5290. Additional information is available at the CDC.