Soon after Harvey, the U.S. Air Force deployed C-130H Hercules (cargo aircrafts) to spray over 6 million acres in the greater Houston area with pesticides to terminate rising insect populations. Due to the enormous amount of standing water post-hurricane, the mosquito population in the greater Houston area is through the roof – and the risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases is much higher.
The types of mosquitoes that can spread viruses are most common anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months after a hurricane, so the aerial treatments can help prevent diseases such as West Nile and Zika from spreading. Air Force planes will continue to periodically fly over Harris and Galveston counties at night when mosquitoes are most active, each plane carrying 100,000 acres worth of pesticides.
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Harris County asks its residents to see this as a group effort – which means everyone must play their part to prevent conducive conditions for mosquito populations. Here are recommended tips in order to protect yourself, and others, from these dangerous pests.
- Remove standing water from your property – Water can easily collect in places like tires, buckets, trash cans, flower pots, kid’s pools and gutters. If you find equipment like this on your property, take the time to empty it as often as you can.
- Tightly cover containers – To keep water from accumulating, cover things like buckets, cisterns, or rain barrels so that mosquitoes can’t get inside.
- Use Larvicides – Treat standing water that can’t be covered or dumped with larvicide if it won’t be used for drinking water.
- Repair cracks and gaps – If you have a septic tank, open vents, or plumbing pipes, check to make sure any gaps that would allow mosquitoes to enter are sealed. Use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito if it is a large area.
- Protect Yourself – If you have to go outdoors during dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are looking for a meal, try to cover as much of your body with long sleeves/pants and use EPA-registered insect repellents. The mosquitoes that transmit Zika virus are daytime biters, so remain diligent any time you are outdoors.
If you’re concerned about a mosquito population on your property, or they’re just being persistent no matter what you do, contact Holder’s immediately. We offer both residential and commercial mosquito control services that can help rid you of these deadly pests.