Wet Weather Means Boom Season for Mosquitoes
Recent torrential rainfalls have Baytown recovering from last year’s drought. Unseasonal rains followed by the return of high temperatures are a perfect combination for mosquitoes to breed and bite.
“With the amount of rain that we received over the last few weeks and temperatures nearing triple digits forecast for this week, we have landing rates high enough to justify spraying throughout the City,” said Tony Gray, Assistant Health Department Director. “We plan our spray schedule to aggressively combat areas where we see high landing rates.” Gray added that this is also a good time for residents to check around their homes for areas with standing water as these provide perfect breeding locations for mosquitoes.
Drain or treat all sources of standing water. In this way, you reduce the number of places mosquitoes can lay their eggs and breed:
• At least once or twice a week, empty water from flower pots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels, and cans. Check for clogged rain gutters and clean them out.
• Apply mosquito dunks in rainwater collection barrels or French drains.
• Remove discarded tires, and other items that could collect water.
• Be sure to check for containers or trash in places that may be hard to see, such as under bushes or under your home
• Eliminate hiding places and standing water by keeping your lawn regularly mowed.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites:
• Apply insect repellent to exposed skin. Generally, the more active ingredient a repellent contains the longer it can protect you from mosquito bites. A higher percentage of active ingredient in a repellent does not mean that your protection is better—just that it will last longer. Choose a repellent that provides protection for the amount of time that you will be outdoors.
• Repellents may irritate the eyes and mouth, so avoid applying repellent to the hands of children.
• Whenever you use an insecticide or insect repellent, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer's directions for use, as printed on the product.
• Spray clothing with repellents containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing. Do not apply repellents containing permethrin directly to exposed skin. Do not apply repellent to skin under your clothing.
• When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever you are outdoors.
• Place mosquito netting over infant carriers when you are outdoors with infants.
For more information, contact the Baytown Health Department at 281-420-5384.