An entomologist said he does not see any unintended consequences resulting from the city of Leavenworth's mosquito spraying program. But the program will not put a big dent in the city's population of adult mosquitoes.

An entomologist said he does not see any unintended consequences resulting from the city of Leavenworth's mosquito spraying program. But the program will not put a big dent in the city's population of adult mosquitoes.

"It does remove a few mosquitoes," said Jeff Whitworth, an entomologist with Kansas State University.

He and fellow entomologist Holly Davis spoke Tuesday during a meeting of Leavenworth City Commission.

Kramer said the entomologists were invited to the meeting after a few people in the community expressed concern about the city's mosquito control program.

Whitworth said the spraying program may provide relief from mosquitoes for a couple of hours. He said mosquitoes flying around will be killed when an area is sprayed. But he said there is no residual impact from the spray.

Whitworth said he saw no problem continuing the program if the city can afford it and people feel good about having the program in place.

The city also uses larvicide to kill mosquitoes in the larval stage.

Whitworth said larvicide programs will help control mosquito populations.

He said education programs encouraging people to empty things that collect water in their yards also can be beneficial.

Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.

He said programs designed to kill adult mosquitoes, such as the city's spraying program, are what divide people. He said some people like such programs. Other people have concerns about them.

"Seriously, I don't think you're going to cause any problems from a biological standpoint," he said.

According to Davis, the chemical used in the city's spraying program will kill bees in large doses. But this should not be a problem with the amounts used by the city.

She said mosquitoes are 100 times more susceptible to the chemical than bees.

Leavenworth Public Works Director Mike McDonald said the city sprays for mosquitoes from about May to September.

He said the city spends about $500 per barrel for the chemical used in the spraying. About four barrels are used each year.

Kramer said there are costs for training, equipment and staff time that also can be calculated.

Whitworth was asked about mosquito-borne diseases. He said West Nile virus probably is the biggest concern.

He said people can protect themselves by not going outside when mosquitoes are active or using repellents with the ingredient DEET.

Commissioner Nancy Bauder questioned the point of continuing the spraying program if it is not especially effective.

"Is it worth while to even do it?" she said.

She suggested an area can sprayed before the start of a large event. But she questioned the point of spraying in neighborhoods.

Commissioner Larry Dedeke said he supports continuing the program.

"I'm all in favor of continuing it," he said.

He said it sounds as though the city spends between $5,000 and $8,000 to help remove mosquitoes.

He said the city's program is getting rid of some mosquitoes.

Dedeke said he believes people will feel more assured about the program once information provided during Tuesday's meeting gets out to the public.

Bauder asked about the costs of the program.

Kramer said Dedeke's overall estimate is probably close to the total cost. But the city manager said he can come up with more detailed labor costs for the program.

Kramer said after the meeting that commissioners likely will discuss the program in the future during a study session.

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