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Maricopa County fogging to stop mosquitoes

PHOENIX -- Maricopa County Environmental Control is hard at work trying to limit mosquitoes in the Valley.

The department has been fogging areas to fight the pests since last month.

It decides to fog an area once it finds certain insects in its mosquito traps.

"Thirty or more of the Culex type of mosquito, which is the species that most likely would carry West Nile Virus, or if we find a trap with over 300 of any kind of mosquito species," said Environmental Control Public Information Officer Johnny Dilone.

He said that they started fogging after finding mosquitoes in both the east and west valleys.

"So far this year, we have had over 40 Culex exceedances," said Dilone. "Due to this, over 9,000 acres have already been treated."

But so far, there has actually been less fogging than in recent years.

"We've been seeing a drop or trending down in fogging," Dilone said. "This is due to us finding the sources sooner, being more aware and treating areas sooner."

Dilone said that with the monsoon season still to come, it's too early to tell whether we'll see more of the pests than we have in recent years.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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