Metro Detroit communities prepare to battle mosquitoes

Communities work to prevent spread of West Nile virus with mosquito abatement programs

Author: Bisi Onile-Ere, Local 4 Reporter
Published On: May 22 2013 10:56:12 PM EDT   Updated On: May 23 2013 03:54:40 AM EDT
WARREN, Mich. -

It's that time of the year again -- mosquitoes are back.

"They're getting bigger and a lot worse," said Lisa Cleland, of Warren.

Cleland is speaking from experience. Her son has enough bite marks to connect the dots, and she has been bitten more than once, too.

"On my arms, on my back, my neck," she said.

Mosquitoes are a nuisance. It's the peak of their breeding season and several communities are working to kill the buzz.

"We have in the past had residents who tested, contracted the West Nile virus. So, in an effort to protect the public's safety we decided to continue the program," said Kevin Burford, of the Wixim Department of Public Service.

On Wednesday, the city of Westland started a mosquito abatement program. Crews drop pouches of mosquito-killing chemicals into thousands of sewer drains in the community.

"We hit it in two ways: We do an adulticide and larvicide. The larvicide kills the unborn mosquitoes and the other one kills the already hatched and living mosquitoes," said Burford.

Last year, Michigan experienced the largest number of West Nile virus cases in a decade. Because of that, Oakland County is urging residents to eliminate breeding sites around their home.

In just a couple of weeks the city of Warren will go after the blood-sucking bugs, too.

Cleland already has taken steps to protect her family.

"I got Cutter and DEET for (my son) because last night they were bad," she said.