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City working to keep bugs at bay as Tempe Town Lake drained

TEMPE, Ariz. — Officials are taking steps to keep midge flies and mosquitoes at bay as Tempe Town Lake is drained.

Workers started spreading wildlife-safe larvicide in the lake about a month ago and will continue to do so in areas where water remains.

In addition, the city of Tempe is monitoring insects at 16 different stations surrounding Tempe Town Lake. Kris Baxter-Ging, a public information officer with the city, said efforts to reduce bugs around the lake are working.

“There is no increase in the number of insects that we have at Tempe Town Lake right now,” she said. “Spring is usually a season where insects are pretty happy, but there’s no difference right now from year to year.”

She said the insect reduction efforts are being made to keep the area around the lake enjoyable for visitors while it is emptied for the construction of a new dam.

“We want to make sure that people feel safe and happy and comfortable,” Baxter-Ging said. “We want to make sure that we reduce the risk of any types of virus that mosquitoes carry by reducing the chance of having those bugs.”

Baxter-Ging said no mosquitoes screened near the lake have tested positive for dengue fever or the Zika virus.

She said the lake should be completely empty within the next couple of weeks and is scheduled to be refilled on April 30.

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