OKC takes West Nile fight high-tech


OKLAHOMA CITY — Several cities around the metro are stepping up their efforts to control the mosquito population.

The goal is to put a dent in the number of illnesses from the West Nile virus.

In Oklahoma City the mosquito hunt has gone high tech.

Dropping a camera on wheels 10 feet below the sidewalk, Derek Johnson and his partner are piloting the machine via remote control through this storm sewer near S.W. 44th St. and Blackwelder.

“As we go through driving, we’ll find pockets of breeding colonies. We can reduce the number of adult mosquitos coming from these sources,” Johnson said.

City crews treated a mosquito infestation in the storm drain last week.

Checking on the results, Derek said the larva have all been killed quickly and safely.

“It’s much easier to send a camera in there than a human being. It makes it a lot easier,” Johnson said.

Nearby neighbors support the city’s proactive approach to combating the spread of West Nile.

Other cities like Moore are also doing their part by spraying mosquito-killing chemicals using spray trucks.

Moore’s spraying will focus around city parks and other targeted neighborhoods.

Oklahoma City has never sprayed for mosquitoes and said they won’t start now.