Archer city council

Members of the Archer City Council look over some items on the consent agenda during the council meeting on July 13 at the Archer Public Library.

ARCHER—As the Archer City Council was discussing its ongoing fly problem, one of the pesky insects was buzzing around the building.

It decided to take a small break and landed on a desk. Its life span ended as the fly was squashed, bringing a smile to everyone in attendance along with a few laughs during the council’s July 13 meeting.

“That’s one less fly,” said Archer mayor Nathan Mueller.

The flies have been a nuisance for far too long and despite the best efforts of the council, there still are a more-than-normal abundance of the winged nuisances.

“It has been less than in the past, but we are still not where we need to be,” said city councilman Troy Iedema. “Whatever treatment has been going on, it has been beneficial, but we are still not where we need to be.”

The latest effort from the council to put a dent in the fly population was to team with the Archer Co-op Grain Co., which owns two bird barns south of Archer. The barns house laying hens and produce about a million eggs per week at full production.

The co-op has a fly control program of baiting and spraying regularly as well as mixing Larvadex, which is an in-feed insect growth regulation for the control of fly larvae, with the birds’ feed. The city decided to split the cost with the co-op of adding Larvadex to the chicken feed to help dull down the fly situation.

While the council noticed fewer flies this month, there were still plenty to cause a nuisance.

Last year the council approved a contract with Rich Walter, a representative of Rolfe-based Mosquito Control of Iowa, to look into the issue.

Iedema tried to call Walter in the past month. He reached out a few times and did not receive a response from Walter. Iedema did hear from a “Matt” the last time he tried to call Walter.

“I am going to open that scope and continue to go,” Iedema said. “Now the only thing during the phone conversation is I know he’s been in touch with the state epidemiologist. They are doing some talking. We will leave that door open.”

Iedema said he thinks the chicken coop is a “major part” of the problem and he had chicken feathers all over his lawn a couple of weeks ago.

“I don’t know about you guys, but the situations over the last couple of months haven’t been pleasant,” Iedema said.

Mueller said when the co-op burns, the smell gets rancid.

“They could compost but they throw it in a furnace,” the mayor said.

Council member Bill Engeltjes said a neighbor called him and said there were fewer flies around the property.

“I would be curious to see how much different it is at your house than my house,” said council member Steven Meyer. “I’ve been working outside a lot and I had it be a problem. Now we discussed it last meeting where we said it wasn’t bad there but it was bad here so I am wondering if there is a different factor playing somehow.”

He said the plan was to put traps north, south, east and west of Archer.

“I thought we were doing something in town to see what kind or population they are,” Meyer said.

Iedema said that’s why he has tried to reach out to Walter, who is supposed to be exploring those situations.

“We didn’t have any follow-up,” Iedema said. “If he isn’t able to do something, we need to find someone that can. Hopefully we are able to get more feedback from him or get in contact with him.”