How A Tire Shredder Will Help To Prevent The Transmission Of Mosquito-Borne Disease In Baton Rouge

With summer approaching fast, it is that time of year when we have to start worrying about mosquitoes and their unwanted presence. The warmer weather brings with it the great onslaught of mosquitoes to our homes and outdoor activities. Across the country experts and officials have been trying to combat the issue of mosquitoes returning, with efforts being made to try and prevent the hatching of many new mosquitoes and control the intensity and strength of the reappearance of these pests. Baton Rouge is using a novel approach to their mosquito problems this year, looking at alternative and rather unorthodox solutions to combat mosquito pest issues.

Baton Rouge’s newest plan of attack, a program spearheaded by city councilman Matt Watson, was so ingenious and smart that the Center for Disease Control gave the city a grant for $605,000 to purchase this unorthodox solution. The grant money was spent on a massive tire shredder. As you may know, tires laying around often get filled with rainwater, this stagnant water makes abandoned tires a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. The rainwater collecting inside those tires isn’t able to evaporate, and this creates a dark, warm breeding spot for mosquitoes. According to the Interim Director for Baton Rouge’s Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control Randy Vaeth, says that these abandoned tires are more of an issue than people believe. The Asian tiger mosquito, which is one of the biggest invasive across the world, was actually brought to the U.S. because they hitched a ride in abandoned tires in 1985.

The plan is for Vaeth and MARC to analyze the location of abandoned tires and mosquito population breeding in them with traps for mosquitoes and mosquito eggs before they shred the tires and afterwards. Vaeth is confident that they will see a massive decrease in those mosquito populations after the tires are shredded. At first there was some debate as to where the new tire shredder would be placed. After some debate, it has been placed at the Baton Rouge North Maintenance Lot, which is located in an unincorporated area between the cities of Baker and Zachary. While MARC received the grant, Baum Environmental will actually be operating the facility. They will be gathering abandoned tires throughout the parish, shredding them, and selling the materials to be reused, a service that Baum is not charging the city or taxpayers for doing. While it has taken some time to finally agree on a location, which must be locked down before the shredder can actually be purchased, Watson is confident that they will be able to get it purchased and the facility up and running before Fall arrives this year.

Do you think this new approach to mosquito control will be a success?

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