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The expensive fight against mosquitoes

Helicopters are being used to fight the mosquito plague along the March River after warnings of a mosquito plague in the coming weeks.

For the first time in Austria, helicopters are being used to spray repellents against the million insects expected along the river in the next few days.

This year, almost 2,000 acres of land is being sprayed in nine municipalities along the 65-kilometre-long. The product used is a granulate with the active agent BTI.

The mayor of Hohenau an der March, Robert Freitag, forced the project after the floods in 2006. He opposed criticism from environmental organisations. He said: "We are only copying a project which is already being used in all of Europe, such as Germany, France, Italy and Scandinavia. We know that the product is bio-degradable within 48 hours.

The permission to use this method was already granted two years ago, but it is the first time that the plague is so problematic that the helicopters have to be requested.

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