County Begins Mosquito Spraying

It’s mosquito season again, and mosquitoes that transit two potentially deadly diseases are showing up in significant numbers. That’s why the Harris County Health Department is rolling out the mosquito control crews
today and tonight. Jim Bell reports.

Mosquito Control Division boss Dr. Rudy Bueno says their monitoring is picking up growing numbers of culex mosquitoes, which spread St. Louis Encephalitis and West Nile Virus.

“That’s why it’s important for us to monitor these things, and like I said, we have a pretty extensive surveillance system. Everything we do, our spraying operations, whether it’s for thermal fogging or for ground spraying, it’s all determined by our surveillance.”

Bueno says conditions are just right for mosquitoes. The weather is warming up. More and more people are watering and mowing their lawns for the first time since last year, and many of those people are unwittingly contributing to the mosquito problem. People who water their lawns a lot, and wash their lawn clippings into the storm drains might be shocked to know that they’re helping the mosquitoes by giving them a place to breed.

“We’ve got the water of course that is necessary. Plus you’ve got the grass clippings which also provide just the right habitat for mosquitoes.”

Starting today, county mosquito control crews are spraying heated insecticide fog into storm sewers during the daytime, and fogging from trucks at night. This will be done in two areas on the east end, around Canal Street and Navigation, and north of Wallisville Road between the Loop 610 and Greens Bayou. St. Louis Encephalitis and West Nile Virus can be fatal in certain high risk groups, the very young and the very old, but so far, no cases of either disease have been reported.

Jim Bell, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.