By Barbara Moore, Neighborhood Services Coordinator
The good news is that our days are becoming warmer.
The bad news is that mosquito season is here.
That means it’s time to remind you to take adequate precautions to prevent transmission of the dangerous viruses these pests can carry. West Nile virus has been a mosquito-borne threat for several years, and since 2015, Zika has emerged as another risk.
According to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, 12 Zika cases have been reported across the state this year, including one in Brazos County. More than 300 cases were reported in Texas in 2015 and 2016.
State Health Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt recommends these measures to keep mosquitoes from breeding in and around your home:
- At least once a week, empty or get rid of cans, buckets, old tires, pots, plant saucers, and other containers that hold water.
- Keep gutters clear of debris and standing water.
- Remove standing water around structures and on flat roofs.
- Change water in pet dishes every day.
- Rinse and scrub vases and other indoor water containers each week.
- Change the water in wading pools and birdbaths several times a week.
- Maintain and keep backyard pools and hot tubs clean and free of debris.
- Cover trash and recycling containers.
- Water lawns and gardens carefully, making sure to not to over water.
- Add screens to rain barrels and openings to water tanks and cisterns.
- Treat front and back areas of your home with residual insecticides if mosquitoes are nearby.
- Trim and prune overgrown vegetation and shrubs.
- If mosquito problems persist, consider pesticide applications for vegetation around your home.
- Consider treating standing water that can’t be drained or is present for more than a week with mosquito dunks to kill mosquito larvae before they breed or hatch.
- Use mosquito dunks in ponds, creeks, drainage ditches and other areas with stagnant water.
- Wear insect repellant and cover up with long-sleeve shirts and pants, when possible.
- Make sure screens on windows are intact and not torn.
- Limit outdoor activities at peak hours when mosquito activity increases.
Mosquito Abatement Program
The City of College Station’s Mosquito Abatement Program provides free mosquito dunks while supplies last. Based on availability, dunks may be picked up at College Station City Hall in the Neighborhood Services office (979-764-6262) or City Secretary’s Office (979-764-3541) starting Wednesday.
For more information on Zika and West Nile prevention efforts in Brazos County, got to brazoshealth.org.
- Podcast: The state of the Zika threat in College Station
- What You Need to Know About the Zika Virus
- Centers for Disease Control
- World Health Organization
- Texas Department of State Health Services
About the Blogger
Barbara Moore is in her 10th year as the city’s neighborhood services coordinator. She previously served as executive director of Family Outreach of Bryan/College Station and was director of faith-based relations for the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity. Barbara is a 1992 graduate of Jackson State and earned her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington in 1996.
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