Mosquitoes don’t add to dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’re far more than just a nuisance, spreading several other viruses.
It’s time for them to die, officials say.
Reports of the blood-sucking parasites are starting to come into El Campo’s Service Center following the heavy rain April 29 and the heat that followed.
“When Public Works receives 10 mosquito complaints from different addresses within a short period of time, it is considered the nuisance threshold ... then the mosquito assassins are assembled and sent,” Public Works Director Kevin Thompson said Monday.
The city also puts out traps throughout the city, monitoring mosquito levels through the amount captured.
It takes about two days to cover the entire city using two trucks. At the same time, larvicide is placed in standing water throughout the city including drainage ditches.
“We have multiple licensed and trained applicators so there is always someone available when the hatch occurs,” Thompson said.
Aside from the annoying itch the little blood suckers leave, some of the 85 different species in Texas can spread the West Nile virus, Zika, Chikungunya, malaria and Encephalitis (eastern and western).
“At this time, Centers for Disease Control has no data to suggest that this new coronavirus or other similar coronaviruses are spread by mosquitoes or ticks. The main way that COVID-19 spreads is from person-to-person,” according to the CDC website.
In the battle against mosquitoes, city workers cannot fight alone.
“Public works is asking for your (the public’s) help to control and manage these potentially dangerous pests,” Thompson said. “One of the biggest breeders of mosquitoes is standing water in residents’ yards.”
Area residents are asked to make sure everything from ruts that hold standing water to clogged gutters and downspouts are drained. Lawn or yard ornaments with standing water features should be drained and refilled on a regular basis along with bird baths.
The use of insect repellent is encouraged. State officials recommend usingthose containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus/para-menthane-diol.
For comfort, it’s recommended people avoid being outside at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
Citizens can report mosquitoes three ways - on the city of El Campo website https://www.cityofelcampo.org/how_do_i/report_a_concern, call Public Works at 979-541-5075 or email email@example.com. “When mosquitoes come out, El Campo Public Works is always ready with a plan in place,” Thompson said.