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SF Uses Grant To Control Mosquitoes Outside City Limits

July 17, 2014, 5:00 PM by Hailey Higgins

SF Uses Grant To Control Mosquitoes Outside City Limits

The City of Sioux Falls Health Department is using a $30,000 grant to better control mosquitoes.

While the goal is to limit the number of bugs in the city, organizers say they're looking outside city limits to get a better handle on the problem.

At Veterans' Memorial Park, Jordan Strand is on the lookout for mosquito larvae in standing water.

"Looking in there, there will be little bug creatures that move," Strand said.

Strand is among a growing team of employees in the Sioux Falls Health Department's Vector Control Program.

"The high-risk mosquito is always of concern because South Dakota has always been hit highest per capita with West Nile Virus since 2003, every year. It's not going anywhere and it is something we deal with all the time," Denise Patton, Health Program Coordinator said.

A $30,000 grant from the State Department of Health buys better surveillance following six reported human cases of West Nile so far this season. Instead of working inside the city, Patton says City crews are looking outside city limits.

"Obviously mosquitoes don't know boundaries. They fly and whatever is going on in the county can come into the city limits so, it's a win-win situation," Patton said.

The grant has allowed the health department to hire on a couple more employees this year because preventing West Nile has proven more difficult because of heavy flooding and more standing water.

The City also added 12 traps to collect even more information on mosquitoes in the highest populated areas outside the city.

Between sampling standing water, spraying and preventing further breeding grounds, the City's health department hopes to prevent further cases of the West Nile Virus.

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