City mosquito abatement manager Bill Alexander of Advanced Mosquito Control, Inc. announced strategies to improve next season's prevention methods.
"We are planning on putting larvicide in with the fertilizer rice farmers use in their fields," said Alexander. "Experts say larvicides are the best way to control mosquito populations because it all begins in standing water."
Some larvicides can last up to 180 days while preventing mosquito larva from maturing into adults, thus reducing the summer mosquito population significantly.
This is the first year the program will mix larvicide with fertilizer.
"We used larvicides in the ditches and bayous last year but not until May since that's when our contract with the city began," added Alexander. "We want to start in early spring this year to help reduce the number of larva and kill them before they hatch."
Alexander said placing the larvicide briquettes in standing water is crucial and they will also utilize the method in drainage areas alongside farmland.
Mosquito control also plans to install more mosquito count traps throughout Cleveland to document the efficiency of the program.
"We have some traps outside of the city and we are finding some places that don't get sprayed, like Skene, are getting two to three times as many mosquitos," said Alexander.
Cleveland Public Works Director Ray Bell also provided updates on litter control.
"We're getting ready to begin our new recycling program with two drop off locations," said Bell. "The bins will be out and ready by Monday.
"One tentative location will be on the north side of the old train depot downtown and the other location for larger deposits will be behind the old Public Works building on Old Highway 61 behind Baxter."
Deposits at the downtown drop off bins can be made seven days a week and from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the facility building.
Detailed signs will explain what is acceptable for deposit at each location.
Recyclable items include plastic bottles, aluminum cans, steel cans, mixed paper, plastic bags and cardboard boxes.
Not to be dropped off for recycling are medical waste items, Styrofoam, aluminum foil and food soiled items.
Bell is also working hard to keep streets litter-free before a Jan. 22 city inspection by the Asset Mapping program from the Mississippi Development Authority.
The goal of the MDA's Asset Development Division, according to Chamber President Judson Thigpen, is to "highlight interesting places and historical and cultural sites" throughout Mississippi's communities.
Specifically, Asset Mapping involves identifying assets in communities by pinpointing them on a GPS interactive website — thus providing guidance to potential tourists.
"We're working on a major cleanup and a major sweep to get everything looking good," said Bell. "We'll especially focus on the hot spots and downtown area."