Mosquitoes swarm Houston after rain, warm temps

In this photo made available by the University of Notre Dame via the CDC, an Anopheles funestus mosquito takes a blood meal from a human host. (AP Photo/CDC, University of Notre Dame, James Gathany)

October 24, 2011 8:16:23 PM PDT
It's what everybody is talking about -- the mosquitoes. They are definitely back with a vengeance and it seems like there's just no escaping them. We wanted to know why we're seeing such an explosion, and if our local municipalities are doing anything to help us out.

Fort Bend County, Galveston County, West University Place and Sugar land all said Monday that they are spraying for this new bumper crop of mosquitoes. Harris County, on the other hand, is not.

It's not your imagination -- there's been an explosion in the mosquito population over the weekend and everybody who's spent any time outdoors is feeling it.

"There's a whole swarm of them, like especially around apartments and stuff," said Brittney Garcia.

"They're annoying; just you know scratching all the time. It just gets annoying," said Jae Berry.

It's because of the recent rain, according to Harris County Mosquito Control.

"When there's a rainfall event, some kind of flooding event, then it triggers these eggs to hatch. They'll hatch and they'll become adults in a matter of days," said Dr. Rudy Bueno with Harris County Mosquito Control.

But the mosquitoes swarming outside your house are not the same species that commonly carries the West Nile virus. That's the Southern house mosquito.

"This is floodwater mosquitoes and mainly salt marsh mosquitoes," said Dr. Bueno.

Because these so-called floodwater mosquitoes don't usually carry West Nile virus, Harris County won't be spraying extra this week.

"We continue to monitor for disease activity and we will go out there whenever we find disease," Dr. Bueno said.

Which is enough to send some mosquito bite victims back to areas where they are spraying.

"It's probably a good thing I live in Webster," said Garcia.

Harris County Mosquito Control says a lot of these mosquitoes will die when a cold front moves through later this week, and that their life span is only about two or three weeks anyway.

Besides using a product with DEET like 'OFF,' you can also do the following: dump water from flower pots, bird baths and any standing water around your home; clean gutters of debris and standing water; repair leaky plumbing and outside faucets; don't wash lawn clippings into storm sewers; and an easy way to keep mosquitoes away is to use a fan.

As far as communities stepping up their mosquito spraying, we've heard from Missouri City, West University, Friendswood and Sugar Land.

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