Town Talk: Tired tires

Every time it rains, old tires collect water, which makes for a great mosquito rearing pond.

Automobile tires take a tremendous pounding through out the 35,000 to 50,000 miles they roll down the roadway taking us where ever we have the time and money to go. Honestly, we usually don’t give much attention to them until they don’t hold air or the tread gets thin. Let’s face it, we take them for granted when they are on our vehicles. Do we give them a second thought after they are off our vehicles? Probably not.

When replaced, where do the old tires go? Sometimes the get put on a pile outside the garage, and they wait there until they get shipped out to a recycling center at some point in the future. If left outside in the summer, old tires have now moved on to their second career. Multifamily housing! Every time it rains, the old tires collect water, which makes for a great mosquito rearing pond. The water is stable. It is warm. Perfect for Mother mosquito. (see photo below)

City Code, Section 8 Public Protection 8.04 Unlawful deposit of garbage, liter or like. has typically been used to get rid of old tires located at businesses and residences but the process can take weeks, resulting in hundreds if not thousands of new mosquitos! Egg numbers vary from species to species but can be as much as over 100 eggs in a single laying.

Mosquito treatment is usually an integrated effort involving getting rid of standing water plus the use of chemical control products. Since mosquitoes develop in water, eliminating water sources favorable for mosquito breeding helps. While eliminating water sources is the more effective long-term approach to mosquito treatment, a mosquito treatment plan may require using chemical products. Large scale spraying of communities is usually a last resort, as the sprayed chemical also kills beneficial insects as well. In addition, there are some products that can be placed in ponds that reduces mosquito populations.

Check your property for empty pails, containers, tires, birdbaths or other water collection items, and don’t allow them to be mosquito breeding areas. Treat larger standing water bodies if possible. Your actions can result in fewer mosquitos, fewer mosquito bites, and less chemical spray used on people which equals… we all can be outdoors during the summer longer and more often!

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Editor’s Note: The City of New Ulm presents a weekly column highlighting activities in different departments in the city government. Once a month the city will answer questions from readers. Questions on New Ulm city issues can be sent to comments@ci.new-ulm.mn.us.

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