LUMBERTON — With five days of spraying of mosquitoes just completed, the director of the Robeson County Health Department does not expect that rain from the remnants of Hurricane Michael will necessitate an additional aerial assault.
“I think we will be all right,” said Bill Smith.
Smith said that it takes about two weeks for mosquito eggs to hatch, so any new batch of mosquitoes wouldn’t arrive until probably the end of October or early November, when the air is cooler and they are less active. Additionally, there is also a possibility of a frost during that period that would kill most of the pests.
Michael is expected to dump several inches of rain on Robeson County before exiting on Friday, giving way to blue skies and autumn-like weather this weekend. Florence dumped about 2 feet of water on the county over three days, providing perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and making it unbearable being outside during dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
In response, the Robeson County Board of Commissioners approved spending $824,000 of local money to join with $300,000 from the state to hire a firm to do the aerial spraying. That began late last week and finished on Tuesday, with about 600,000 out of of the county’s 607,501 acres covered.
The county expects $693,000 to be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Several local municipalities, including Lumberton, also do their own spraying.