Duke Energy mosquito control program in its 90th year

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Duke Energy has begun the 90th year of its reservoir mosquito control program.

Conducted annually since 1923, this public health program was started by company founder James B. Duke. It provides mosquito control along the shoreline of five of the company’'s largest urbanized reservoirs, including lakes James, Norman, Wylie, Wateree and Keowee.

The program, which operates from May through the end of October, is the oldest continuous environmental program of any utility in the U. S and one of the first in North America.

Two-person boat crews seek out specific mosquito breeding habitats along the 1,700 miles of Duke Energy'’s reservoir shoreline and apply a safe and government-approved larvicide that attacks only mosquito larvae.

Mosquitoes are not just annoying. They can spread disease, including West Nile Virus.

North Carolina and South Carolina have more than 60 mosquito species, many of which have adapted to live near homes. Removing or managing the water in which they breed is an effective way to reduce the mosquito population.

Shoreline homeowners are encouraged to inspect their property and empty or discard unwanted containers that may hold water for long periods. Standing water can produce a brood of hungry mosquitoes within six to eight days during the summer.

Use these tips to reduce mosquito habitat at your home:

  • Empty any clogged rain gutters, flower pot saucers, yard/deck furniture, toys or other items holding water. 
  • Fill tree holes with builders' sand. 
  • Clean bird baths regularly. 
  • Empty beached boats with clogged drains or sagging boat covers. 
  • Encourage neighbors to inspect and drain standing water on their property.  
  • When working or playing outdoors, use mosquito repellent containing no more than 20 percent DEET.

Homeowners living away from Duke Energy reservoirs should contact their local county health department for assistance with mosquito concerns, such as blocked and flooded roadside ditches, abandoned swimming pools, debris piles and low-lying areas that may collect and allow water to stand.

For helpful homeowner mosquito control information contact your county environmental health specialists located at your county health department and or visit the following websites:

In North Carolina:www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/Urban/mosquito.htm

In South Carolina:www.scdhec.gov/environment/envhealth/pests/mosquitoes.htm

About Duke Energy Carolinas

Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with more than $110 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.2 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.