News From Terre Haute, Indiana


August 18, 2013

READERS' FORUM: Aug. 18, 2013

Help fight those mosquitoes; close trash receptacles

There was a recent report by the Vigo County Health Department about the presence of the West Nile Virus in our area, and it is no surprise. Mosquitoes have a perfect breeding ground in Terre Haute with the main source being the blue trash barrels that dot our city.

These barrels are left open and when we have intermittent rain it goes directly into these barrels and leaves standing water of 3 to 4 inches in the bottom. This water is usually mixed with dirt and debris in the bottom and makes a perfect environment for mosquito breeding.

As I walk my dog through the alleys, I have noticed this problem for quite some time and since the virus has been detected, now is the time to speak out. I noticed that about 60 percent of these barrels are left open, and I started closing them as I walked. But I felt I was infringing on other people’s property, so I quit.

I fight these mosquitoes and other insects and it is really bad this time of year. While outside, I try to fight these pests with a lemon spray, just pouring a bottle of lemon juice into an empty spray bottle. Mosquitoes especially hate the smell of citrus with all three being effective — lemon, grapefruit and orange.

We must all be vigilant and close our barrels. Don’t blame the sanitation department for leaving barrels open. Those crews work hard in a dirty, thankless job and have to move fast. It only takes a minute to close a barrel and shut off this major breeding area. I seldom see any old tires or any other receptacles that are as hazardous as the open barrel. These mosquitoes are after only one thing, our blood.

If this letter and warning would just save one person from getting the West Nile Virus, it would be awesome.

— Robert Kintz

Terre Haute


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