Mosquitos and Zika – preventative measures
By Donna Hill
For the Fort Bend Star
Fort Bend County officials have determined Aerial Vector Mosquito spraying is unnecessary for mosquito populations within the county, because mosquito counts remain low. Yet, since the May floods, Fort Bend County’s Road and Bridge Department monitors the mosquito population, and will continue spraying within a three mile area of the river across the county twice a week, driving through neighborhoods beginning at 7:30pm and then again at 11pm. According to Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert, “I’m very pleased that our local efforts to control mosquitoes is showing great results. We’ll keep monitoring our traps and are prepared to aerial spray the area if we see a spike in population.” Aside from local neighborhood spraying, prevention also includes tossing a larvicide disk, or ‘dunks’ into standing water, to kill mosquito larvae in places where water removal isn’t possible, such as ditches and wooded areas. Residents are encouraged to keep yards mowed and hedges trimmed, along with eliminating any objects that collects standing water.
Call your city for more information about municipal mosquito control efforts. If you live in the unincorporated areas of Fort Bend County contact 281 342 4513.
At a recent Zika Awareness class at the Texas Agrilife office in Rosenberg, officials were told how to reduce the risk of getting Zika or West Nile from a mosquito. Topics included ways to make your home environment less likely to breed mosquitos, and how to reduce your risk of a mosquito bite by dressing appropriately and wearing mosquito repellent when outside.
The info, published by the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service cited that all mosquitos need bacteria laden water to breed. Places like tarps, gutters, flower pot dishes, birdbaths and tires are target breeding grounds. Any container that holds water for 8 to 10 days can produce dozens to hundreds of mosquitos a day.
Experts mention mosquitos that carry the Zika virus fly less than 200 meters from their breeding site. Any biting mosquitos come from either your yard or your neighbors yard. Keeping water out of containers in your yard is the first step to controlling mosquitos. For more info and links go to http://preventingzika.org
Darren McCarthy, Director of Rosenberg Parks and Recreation says information about the Zika virus is posted in all parks in the Fort Bend area.
The Rosenberg Parks and Recreation department also set up a Facebook page for Zika info and other info around the community: https://www.facebook.com/RosenbergPARD/
The Fort Bend County Road & Bridge along with the Health and Human Services departments actively monitor all information of mosquito borne diseases. To protect yourself from mosquitos, the Health and Human Services division reminds residents to use mosquito repellents, wear long sleeved shirts and long pants when outside, use screens on dwellings, and stay in at dusk and/or dawn when mosquitos are most active. More info at the Flood Recovery Information page at their website.
For more info www.fortbendcounty.gov