Bring in the dragonflies … or not

Mosquito abatement:

What I’m calling about is the article on West Nile. When I was
in Modesto last year, they had dragonflies by the thousands. I
asked what for and they said it was to eat all the mosquitoes in
the area, including West Nile. Once the weather passed, so did the
dragonflies. They felt it was the easiest way. I’m wondering if
we’ve ever tried it in Gilroy. Thank you.

Mosquito abatement: “What I’m calling about is the article on West Nile. When I was in Modesto last year, they had dragonflies by the thousands. I asked what for and they said it was to eat all the mosquitoes in the area, including West Nile. Once the weather passed, so did the dragonflies. They felt it was the easiest way. I’m wondering if we’ve ever tried it in Gilroy. Thank you.”

Thousands of dragonflies? Are you trying to run the Red Phone out of town? The Red Phone is slightly fearful of the harmless flying insect … OK, terrified is a better word.

But, back to your question. The Red Phone first contacted the City of Gilroy’s Chris Weske, senior maintenance worker with Gilroy’s Parks and Landscape.

“At this time Gilroy is not conducting any mosquito control other than abating some sources of standing water,” he said.

The Red Phone also checked in with Kriss Costa with the Santa Clara County Vector Control District, who concurred with Weske, and added that dragonflies aren’t always entirely effective.

“As a natural predator to use against mosquitoes, they do eat some mosquitoes, and even in their nymph stages, in the aquatic stage, they will eat some mosquito larvae and pupae, but they’re not a real effective deterrent to mosquitoes because there are so many of them out there,” Costa said. “So no we don’t think about turning those loose. … If somebody has a pond, we have mosquito fish that are very effective, but even those, if they’re turned in to an area that’s too flooded with mosquito larvae, they do need help cutting the numbers down. So it’s not something we normally do.”

So, caller, looks like the Red Phone will stick around … and so will most of the mosquitoes.

Street extension: “When will Camino Arroyo be extended across the creek?”

Your call was quick and to the point, and the answer will be as well.

According to Don Dey, engineer with the City of Gilroy, “That is currently in design and the bridge and the roadway section and all that are planned to be constructed and operational by October 2007.”

Timber!: “Hey Red Phone. I have a concern. There has been a huge tree down at the Gilroy Golf Course off Hecker Pass for six or eight weeks. Why hasn’t the city taken the tree down, cut it up and moved it away? It’s beyond an eyesore, it’s potentially dangerous if someone gets into that, a kid climbs up some of those branches. It’s a huge tree and it hasn’t been taken down. It’s been there for a couple of months. It’s ridiculous.”

The Red Phone first contacted the City of Gilroy and was referred to Don DeLorenzo with Gilroy Golf Course, who said the recent constant storms have put off the removal of the downed tree.

“The large tree fell last month during one of the storms,” DeLorenzo said. “We have contracted with TruGreen Landcare tree service to remove the tree. The tree is in a very wet area and the constant series of storms has not allowed them to get in to do proper removal. Also, since it is only one tree, they are taking care of the larger jobs first before they hit this one.”

But take note, caller, DeLorenzo said the tree was scheduled for removal Friday. Red Phone contacted him Friday afternoon and sure enough, he said the tree had been taken care of.

Wipers and lights: “During the rain last Friday I noticed four different police patrol cars driving around town with windshield wipers on and no headlights on or any other driving lights. Who gives them a ticket?”

Actually, caller, no one. In case you missed Red Phone’s recent column, the vehicle code requiring that headlights be used in conjunction with windshield wipers doesn’t go into effect until July 1.

Readers: Know of a situation with a streetlight? Problems with potholes? The Red Phone is here to listen to your troubles and woes (but encourages happy thoughts) and do its best to find answers to your burning questions, so give it a call at 842-9070 or send e-mail to [email protected]

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