Baton Rouge mosquito experts ramping up efforts to guard against Zika

Local experts ramping up efforts to guard against Zika
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Zika outbreak in Florida has led to a huge effort in the Gulf States to prevent the spread of the virus.

As fears continue to grow, experts with the East Baton Rouge Mosquito Abatement are stepping up their efforts to keep residents protected.

Supervisor Lewis Combs said over the past few weeks their routes have nearly doubled.

"Not just six days a week," Combs said. "Even working more zone areas, more areas in the city trying to stay ahead of it you know because you don't know exactly what to expect."

Not only has the coverage area increased but the number of drivers has ramped up as well.

"I can put up to 14 if need be you know. Hopefully it doesn't come to that but we do what we need to do to handle the situation," Combs said.

During a ride along with one of those drivers, Thomas Perkins, who normally hits the road right before nightfall, said he was spraying until around 11 p.m. each night. He said the spray is one of the best defenses against the pesky insects.

"We usually spray with the same thing a lot but we have to mix it up because we don't want to get the mosquitoes used to any one type of spray so it can be most effective," Perkins said.

While the spray is designed to eliminate mosquitoes, each driver is careful not to spray people. Anytime someone is outside, the machine is shut off but Perkins said that can hinder the process. It is why they ask residents to go inside if they see the truck coming down the street.

"They need to go inside maybe give it about 10 or 15 minutes before they come back outside.. Just let us do this job and we'll be in and out in no time," Perkins said.

Residents can request that experts check their private property for mosquitoes by clicking here to visit the department's website.

Copyright 2016 WAFB. All rights reserved.