This summer has not been as busy with mosquitoes as last year, but the pesky pests are making a comeback late in the season. The Wichita Falls – Wichita County Public Health District is working to keep the bugs at bay.
The slow start to the summer insect season may not be what you think. "Everybody thinks it was because of the drought. The reason we didn't have a big mosquito problem at the beginning of the year was because of the high winds," said Environmental Health Administrator Susan Morris. "Now that the wind has died down, and we've had a little bit of rain and people are starting to water their trees and use irrigation, we're starting to see some problems with mosquitoes late in the season," she said.
Standing water is the biggest culprit for the spread of the winged vexes. Any amount can harbor their larva. "A Frisbee in your yard would hold enough water to breed mosquitoes," she said.
There are 40 different types of mosquitoes in Wichita County. Morris is in charge of keeping them all at bay. "We have an integrated pest management program," she explained. The first step of that program is education. Morris says it is key the public know to pour out any standing water.
If the water is too big to be poured out, the next step is treatment. "We will treat those areas of standing water with a larvicide so that the mosquitoes can't complete their life cycle," she said.
Finally, if adult, flying mosquitoes are plaguing an area; they bring out pickups equipped with sprayer devices. "Spraying for adult mosquitoes is the least effective, most expensive method for treatment, so it is our last resort," she said.
Morris said the chemical is a synthetic that is targeted specifically at adult mosquitoes. She said there is no threat to Humans or pets. The three trucks operate three to four nights a week for four hours at a time. The rigs drive 10 miles per hour.
If you have an area that needs attention, the Health Department wants to hear from you. Call their hotline at 940-761-7890. Leave a message with your information, and Morris says they will address your concerns.