TVA Program Effect Small On Worst Mosquitoes: UT Prof

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Populations of the most dangerous types of mosquitoes probably won’t increase even though the Tennessee Valley Authority is ending its pest control program, a University of Tennessee entomologist said Wednesday.

Dr. Karen Vail said mosquitoes known as container breeders, the most dangerous disease-carriers, breed mostly in pools, old tires, gutters and other areas that collect water.

“These container breeders are the ones we should be most concerned about as far as disease, but it is up to the homeowners to control them,” Vail said.

Homeowners can reduce container breeder mosquito populations by eliminating standing pools of water around the house and using pesticides to kill larva, she said.

After more than 50 years of operation, TVA is ending its pest and aquatic weed control program to save money.

“TVA’s pest control efforts of spraying and regulating water levels has had little effect on container breeders, so discontinuing the program probably will not make much difference,” Vail said.

Vail said other types of mosquitoes, such as permanent pool and flood water breeders, pose less disease threat, and TVA’s program had more of an impact killing these pests.

The agency will continue regulating lake levels which will help control permanent pool breeders and flood water breeders, she said.

Vail said July’s above-average rain may result in a larger mosquito population in Tennessee this year.

Contact: Dr. Karen Vail (423-974-7138)

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