Mosquitos are brutal, but likely won't make you sick

Mosquitos
September 10, 2013 3:44:03 PM PDT
It's not news to anyone in the Houston area that the mosquitos are brutal right now. But is anyone doing anything to stop them?

The mosquitos in Houston are a menace. You may have noticed lately you're swatting mosquitoes more than you were a month ago, but the good news is that a bite isn't likely to make you sick.

Dr. Rudy Bueno with the Harris County Health Department traps mosquitos and monitors for diseases they may be carrying. He says we've past the peak time for West Nile Virus, which was last month. Both the Culex and Asian Tiger mosquitos, which are the main disease-carriers of concern, have generated very little West Nile Virus.

"It really is the nature of the virus," Dr. Bueno said. "It's a cyclic thing. Several years will be high then it will drop off."

So far this season Harris County has had 115 positive samples for West Nile carrying mosquitos and only three dead birds.

He said, "Birds are a really good indicator of the severity of the disease."

At this time last year, the numbers were staggering -- 441 positive mosquitos and 214 dead birds.

There is a kind of mosquito that you'll find in shallow coastal areas called the Salt Marsh mosquito.

"Around a week ago we started to see a significant increase of Salt Marsh mosquitos," Dr. Bueno said.

Last week there were around 200 in traps compared to around 25 just a week earlier. They are merely a nuisance. They almost never carry West Nile virus.

Kingwood had a positive West Nile test last week and Baytown had one in recent months. Those two areas of the county are where West Nile is concentrated, and that's where the county is spraying five days a week.

  • Harris County Mosquito Control Division
  • City of Bellaire mosquito spraying schedule
  • West University Place mosquito control
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