Ag Commissioner coming to WKY to talk mosquito control


Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

TRIGG COUNTY:  New details concerning the mosquito outbreak in western Kentucky.

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer plans to attend a town hall meeting about the issue in Trigg County the first week of July.  

It will happen at the Renaissance Center in Cadiz.  It starts at 9 a.m. on July 2.

During the event, Commissioner Comer will discuss the department's plan to deal with the growing mosquito population, as well as answer questions from the public.

Numerous other state and local officials will attend as well.

Earlier story:

TRIGG COUNTY, Ky. - Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is planning a special trip to Trigg County in July to talk about controlling the mosquitoes.

Steve Kelly, KDA Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Administration, said resident complaints have made their way to Frankfort and Comer wants to do something about it.

"This is a nuisance problem that is very serious," Kelly said. So serious that they held a meeting Friday afternoon to talk about launching a plan they haven't implemented since the floods of 2011:  air application.  Kelly said there are too many areas ground crews can't get to in their trucks. 

The meeting was designed to pinpoint a specific area for application and they came up with Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. Initial plans would send an airplane to spray a two mile area from the north side to the U.S. 68-80 bridge and around the lakes. It adds up to about 130,000 acres which will cost about $260,000. The state contracts out the flights.

"This is kind of a stretch for us to even be able to talk about funding a project this large," he said. He added that it will also be a little more difficult to get the plan off the ground this time around because it's not a public health hazard, just a nuisance.

"We do not want to put a scare out there that this is any kind of emergency situation," he said.
But he said Commissioner Comer does want to give residents the option to weigh in which is why he's hosting the town hall on July 2. The time has not been set yet, but the location is the Trigg County Courthouse.

In the meantime, extra crews are on the ground spraying the areas in an attempt to keep the pesky problem under control.