Weather conditions and flooding create perfect storm for mosquito breeding
According to the Texas Department of Public Health, there were 204 cases of West Nile in Texas 2020.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Pest control experts are gearing up for a busy summer and mosquito season. Recent rain and flooding throughout the Brazos Valley are the perfect recipes for mosquito breeding and a rise in the mosquito population.
Experts say reducing standing water can help prevent mosquitoes from breeding on your property. Tanner Davis is a certified technician with Mosquito Joe, a local pest control company specializing in using environmentally-friendly chemicals to help combat mosquitoes. He says it only takes a small amount of water to breed the mosquitoes, thus making time outside and around your home unpleasant.
“The main reason that mosquitoes are so bad, especially here in Texas, is because of all the rain we have. Standing waters is the number one cause for mosquitoes,” said Davis. “One teaspoon of water can spawn up to 300 hundred mosquitoes. So when you have gallons and gallons and gallons, it’s billions of mosquitoes that we’re talking about, and so until that dries up, we’re going to continue to see the population of mosquitoes rise.”
Molly Keck is an entomologist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. Part of her role is to educate the public about how a rise in the mosquito population is harmful, not only to humans, but also to pets. Keck says mosquito-borne diseases affect birds as well as horses.
“Mosquitoes are of medical concern. They’re kind of public enemy number one, as far as transmitting diseases to humans. We worry about certain species of mosquitoes that are known to be vectors of various diseases. We want to try to reduce the numbers of those populations of mosquitoes so that we don’t end up kind of in a perfect storm where it’s really easy for those mosquitoes to transmit diseases to people,” said Keck. ”The big disease that we’re most concerned about is the West Nile, and the species of mosquito that transmits West Nile likes to breed in places like floodwaters, plains, or ditches that hold water, as well as containers that might be around your house.”
Keck advises homeowners to be mindful of things on their property that can help mosquitoes breed.
“The first thing and the best thing that you can do to try to manage mosquitoes around your yard is to figure out where the water is sitting and pooling. That can be clogged gutters. That could be kiddie pools, toys, holes that need to be closed up - anything that can hold a little bit of water. It doesn’t need to be a large surface area, and it doesn’t need to be very deep. Even a water bottle cap flipped upside down will breed mosquitoes,” said Keck. “Avoid mosquitoes when they’re most active. The ones that transmit West Nile are most active around dawn and dusk and into the evening.”
Davis says to take advantage of nice weather to get rid of potential breeding grounds on your property.
“Look for things such as buckets, wheelbarrow tires, tarps, all sorts of things that are holding water. Removing them off the yard, dumping them out or flipping them over to where water won’t enter it, that will be a massive help. "
To read more about Texas A&M’s research on mosquitoes and weather, click here.
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