In recent weeks, heavy rains and winds have swept across the region, showers are forecast during the 2020 Memorial Day Weekend and Hurricane Season starts on Monday, June 1, which is just 10 days away (to get prepared, visit www.MissouriCityReady.com). As rainy weather can cause an increase in mosquito populations, the City is proactively moving to help residents “Fight the Bite”.
To educate residents on the MCTX Mosquito Control Program, staff has compiled a list of frequently asked questions in relation to this topic:
Does Missouri City have a program to manage local mosquito populations?
Yes; the City has a strategic program in place that is targeted to work toward environmentally friendly control of adult mosquitoes and prevention of breeding sites. The current contractor is Cypress Creek Pest Control and their agreement requires that four to five trucks spray every Thursday from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. beginning each year in May through the first week of November. If there are adverse weather conditions the contractor will spray on Friday evenings or the first available good weather evening afterward.
Did City Council recently vote to select a new contractor for mosquito spraying?
Yes, at their Monday, May 18 Regular Meeting, Councilmembers voted to execute a $420,000 four-year contract for mosquito spraying services. The new contractor, Original Bug Company, LLC dba BUGCO Pest Control, is estimated to provide an anticipated maximum of 70 applications annually. If any additional applications are required, BUGCO would complete those at $100 per hour on an as-needed basis. In the Council agenda cover memo, Assistant Director of Public Works Cliff Brouhard said: “Historically, the City has averaged about 36 applications in a year during the mosquito spraying season. However, the number of applications needed may vary each year and could exceed the 36 applications due to extreme weather conditions.”
The current vendor, Creek Pest Control, will continue spraying until their contract expires on Sept. 30, 2020 and the new contractor BUGCO will begin their term on Oct. 1, 2020.
What pesticide is used and what areas does spraying cover?
The contractor uses eco-friendly Kontrol 30-30, an industry standard insecticide which is also used by other regional cities.
Spraying covers all streets and neighborhoods within City limits, including the private streets of communities that have provided a gate code for accessibility by the spraying contractor. Also, in addition to the contractor’s cycle, City staff sprays common areas where mosquitoes swarm like parks, green spaces, and the Quail Valley Golf Course.
When the mosquito population increases, how does the City respond?
Staff closely monitors this issue, and when necessary, additional spray days are added for communities and greenspaces citywide.
Do residents and stakeholders have any input into the frequency of the spraying, location of spraying, or the product(s) used for spraying?
Yes; residents who have questions or concerns about the mosquito control program and spray schedule, may contact the City directly at 281.403.8500 or ‘Submit an Inquiry’ via this City website link: http://bit.ly/2I6CuiR.
What are some preventative measures residents and visitors can take to “Fight the Bite”? Preparedness is essential to prevention and staff encourages residents to prepare themselves by following the 4 D’s:
- DUSK/DAWN are the times of day you should try to stay indoors. This is when infected mosquitoes are most active;
- DRESS in long sleeves, pants, loose and light-colored clothing when outside. For extra protection, you may want to spray thin clothing with repellent;
- DEFEND yourself by using an insect repellent that contains DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Follow label instructions and reapply as you would with sunscreen, after sweating and swimming; and
- DRAIN standing water in your backyard and neighborhood. Make sure that flower pots, water dishes, bird baths and wading pools are properly drained.
In the event you get a mosquito bite, experts recommend the first-aid procedures below:
- Wash the bite with soap and water
- Apply anti-itch cream or use calamine lotion or an oatmeal bath for itching
- Place an ice pack to reduce any swelling
- Seek medical attention immediately if you experience dizziness, swelling of lips and throat or difficulty breathing.
For more information about Missouri City, please watch the City website: www.missouricitytx.gov, like us on Facebook—fb/MissouriCityTX, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat—@MissouriCityTX and Nextdoor, watch Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse) or download the MCTX Mobile app (available for free in Google Play and the Apple app store.)