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City, county spraying to do away pesky mosquitoes

By Melissa Crowe
June 3, 2013 at 1:03 a.m.


FIGHT THE BITE

• Use insect repellent

• Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites

• Be aware of peak mosquito hours (dusk until dawn)

• Drain standing water

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

While Victoria residents welcomed recent rain, the first mosquito outbreak that followed is another story.

Although city and county departments are spraying insecticide to kill the bloodsucking pests, they recognize it's not a "complete fix."

Krystal Gray, who lives in the Bridle Ridge subdivision, said the problem is bad in her neighborhood.

"You can't go in our front or backyard without being swarmed," Gray, 28, said. "I just avoid going outside."

Kevin Stewart, assistant parks and recreation director, said the city started spraying early Sunday morning. He expects the entire city to be covered by Tuesday and another round of mosquito fogging to start Wednesday morning.

"Anytime we get rain, we'll have mosquitos," he said. "We'll spray as long as there's mosquitos."

Robert Leister, who heads up the Victoria City-County Health Department Mosquito Control Program, said the county started spraying Aqua Reslin last week but works only on a complaint-basis.

"We will continue to be spraying at least for another week, if not longer, depending on complaints and if we get any more rain," he said.

Since they started, Leister estimated they have used about 40 or 50 gallons of the insecticide.

"We can't spray every day due to the chemical or every other day, but most times we spray every second day to get a good kill," he said.

With parts of the county seeing 6 and 10 inches of rain, mosquitos have an abundant amount of places to hatch.

The county also does "larviciding" in standing water along ditches to kill mosquito larvae before the hatch.

"It's not a complete fix, but it does help with the control of mosquitos," he said.

Leister and Stewart urged all residents to drain standing water, bird baths, buckets and rain gutters to eliminate any potential mosquito breeding ground.

Keeping shrubs trimmed and grass cut will also cut back on habitats for mosquitos.

Leister said the area around Coleto Creek has been bad.

"I recommend people stay inside right now," Leister said. "If you're going outside, put something on with DEET in it."

Until Gray sees an improvement in her neighborhood, she said she will stay indoors.

Although her property is free of standing water, the moisture from the storms has soaked farmland across from her.

"My husband and I were considering using a fogger Sunday morning, but we woke up to rain," she said. "After the rain, the mosquitos were back."

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