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Q: We have a tremendous mosquito problem with the West Nile Virus. What do Payson officials have in mind to handle it and what is our local college doing to prevent mosquito breeding in their three water retention basins?

A: It's not the town or the college that is responsible for such issues. It's the Gila County Health and Community Services Department.

"We're doing all kinds of stuff," said Director Dave Fletcher. "We've put together a program whereby we go out to areas to walk around and find where people have buckets of water and old tires. Those are really your mosquito breeding areas.

"Retention basins breed some mosquitoes, but they are not your main source of mosquitoes -- not in the types of vectors that would be real problems for West Nile Virus."

"The most important thing people need to understand is that individually they can do more to stop themselves getting bit by mosquitoes than the government will ever be able to do. They need to use mosquito deterrents that have DEET in them and, if they can, wear long-sleeve clothing at the times when mosquitoes generally bite."

People can also help by getting rid of standing water on their property.

Call 474-5251, ext. 147, to reach Roundup's What's Up? line. Leave your question on the answering machine and we'll try to find the answer.

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