City of Lubbock starts area-wide sprays after major influx of mosquitoes
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Wednesday morning, a Texas Tech researcher collected traps with more than 1,000 mosquitoes inside. Mosquitoes depend on water to breed, so they are popping up in droves after a couple rain showers in late May. The City of Lubbock says it’s working to get mosquito populations under control.
The City’s Vector Control Department tracks mosquito populations for disease and uses its traps to find hotspots within the city and county. Coordinator Steven Boston says after this first major influx, the City started its first area-wide spray Monday morning.
“We are spraying and we’re diligently looking at that process of where, and we realize that we’ve got massive areas all across the city. We are aware of the areas that haven’t been sprayed and we’re moving towards them,” Boston said.
Steve Presley says he saw a sudden boom of mosquitoes popping up in his department’s traps starting last weekend.
“April showers bring May flowers. Well, May showers bring June mosquitoes,” he said.
Presley is the director of the Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech University. It monitors the area’s mosquito population, particularly the species that transmit disease through viruses like West Nile and Zika.
“We don’t actually do the spraying or the mosquito control, but we’re the public health sentinel, basically. We sound the alarm when we know the virus is actively being transmitted in the area,” Presley said.
Boston says Vector Control helps with suppression, but can’t control everything. He and Presley want to remind people of the ‘Four D’s’ - drain standing water in your yard, dress appropriately, avoid being outside at dusk and dawn, and use deet, bug repellent.
“If you really don’t want mosquitoes around your place, mow, dump water, because that’s the best thing that you can do to help yourself and also your neighbors and everyone else,” Boston said.
Boston says the City and Lubbock County know mosquitoes are a nuisance and also an issue of public health, so they’re invested in getting these populations under control.
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