Residents Responsibility to Safeguard Against West Nile

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It's that time of year again.
The twin cities are encouraging residents to safeguard their homes from the threat of West Nile.

"We still sit under a cloud of the West Nile Virus, and again that's one we prepare for the worst and hope for the best," said Texas A&M Entomologist Jim Olson, in an interview with News 3 earlier this month.

Olson also said that early signs indicated fewer mosquito populations of the type which carry the virus.

Although the numbers are down from last year, experts are still advising residents to take precautions.

"While we maybe haven't trapped any that have tested positive for West Nile virus yet, it's not a matter of it, it's a matter when," said Bob Holmes, City of Bryan Operations Supervisor/City Sexton. "We will and do have mosquitoes that are positive for the West Nile virus."

Both Bryan and College Station report they're doing their part in the public areas of the cities but now they're asking residents to do theirs.

"What the city can do is obviously public property, but what we really can't do is go on private property," said City of Bryan Neighborhood/Youth Services Manager Ronnie Jackson. "Mosquitoes don't have boundary lines they can go on both public and private property."

The twin cities' are helping their residents through mosquito abatement programs.
Both cities offer up to $200 worth in rebates to registered neighborhood and homeowner associations, who purchase dunks and other forms of protection.

"The small foggers they'll be able to go into their backyard around their homes, around the shrubs, and right on their own area," said City of College Station Interim Neighborhood Services Coordinator Peggy Calliham. "Whereas before, a fogger from a truck driven down the street just fogs a general area in front of the house."

Officials with both cities say now is the time for residents to take on mosquito control, since the Brazos Valley is entering prime mosquito season.

"On the city's part we can only do so much," said Marshall Wallace, with the College Station Department of Public Works. "On a resident's part, if you have standing water try to use some of these products."