The mosquitoes in Texas bring the risk of some pretty nasty diseases as they pilfer the blood of their victims. With March and April being the beginning of mosquito season and the end not being until the end of the year, we at A-Tex Pest Management would like to share some information concerning these pests. And there are more than you think. Of the 3,500 species found in various parts of the world, Texas has about 85 different species of mosquitoes and only a few carry the diseases.
Aedes & Culex Mosquito Species Transmit Zika & West Nile Virus & More
Though the state is home to the Aedes species capable of carrying it, the Zika virus isn’t necessarily being transmitted by mosquitoes in Texas … yet. The Culex mosquito should be the concern. An illness with symptoms ranging from a mild headache to high fever, tremors and disorientation, Culex mosquito species transmits the West Nile virus and in extreme cases, the disease can cause inflammation of the brain or spinal cord that can be life-threatening. You can get West Nile without even knowing it. Between 30%-40% of people do not know they are infected with the virus because they are asymptomatic. The majority of those infected have mild symptoms like a viral infection and only 1% will experience meningitis, or cephalitis, or a polio-type response of muscle paralysis or complete paralysis or other bad central nervous system according to experts.
City & County Mosquito Control & Monitoring Schedule
Milder winters can cause earlier mosquito activity. As the birds migrate back and the weather warms up, this indicates that mosquitoes are coming out. When the winters are mild, the mosquito activity is highly likely to commence earlier. The mosquito battle varies. In mid-April, Bastrop typically starts sending out city trucks twice a week to spray for mosquitoes and from there it tapers down to once a week as conditions permit. When specialists are concerned with a rise in mosquito-borne diseases, the trucks are often sent out three times a week. EPA-approved tablets that can be thrown into standing water to kill mosquito larvae are also part of the agenda and other areas will use these mosquito “dunks.” In some counties, the County Health and Human Services Department views chemical spraying as a last resort because the mosquitoes in a treatment area is only reached at roughly 10%. If the mosquito tests positive for West Nile virus, the department may deploy the trucks. Monitoring activity is important. Other county and city Health District officials will use funds to trap and test programs to collect data on what viruses are found in area mosquitoes; this ensures all the necessary prevention efforts are deployed.
How to Prevent Mosquito Bites
The common tips are effective. Where mosquitoes breed, be sure to drain the stagnant water, use the air conditioner, wearing long sleeves at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are at the height of their activity, and use insect repellent when going outside are the basic recommendations from health officials. Make sure any standing water areas are regularly checked and emptied such as gutters, runoff tubes, irrigation lines, or toys left in the yard. Helping you helps the community. When you make the efforts to apply proper mosquito control around your home or business, a ripple effect is created and the more that participate the more the community as whole benefits.