As Rains Continue, City Officials Urge Residents To Take Precautions Against Mosquitos
As heavy rains continue across the area, Emergency Management Officials urge residents to be aware of the health risks associated with standing water, including increased mosquito activity.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that flood waters and standing waters pose various risks, including infectious diseases, chemical hazards and injuries. If a flooding emergency occurs, when returning to your home, be aware that flood water may contain sewage. For more information on how to protect yourself and your family, visit CDC’s Flood Water After a Disaster or Emergency.
Missouri City has a strategic mosquito control program that is targeted to work toward environmentally friendly control of adult mosquitoes and prevention of breeding sites. The 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.
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.
If there are adverse weather conditions the contractor will spray on Friday evenings or the first available good weather evening afterward.
To further heighten awareness statewide, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner (DSHS) John Hellerstedt, M.D., issued a letter on Monday, July 2 about the ongoing risk Zika poses to communities across Texas.
“The risk of these diseases increases with mosquito activity in Texas’ warm weather. Pregnant women are particularly at risk of Zika, because the virus can cause birth defects in unborn infants,” the Governor and Commissioner said in their letter. “Steps to prevent Zika also reduce the spread of other illnesses.”
TexasZika.org has free information and materials available in English and Spanish. Learn how you can protect you and your family:
Measures for Individuals to Protect Themselves from Mosquito Bites:
Measures for Individuals to Prevent Mosquito Breeding: ?
- Wear insect repellent, ?
- Cover up with long-sleeved shirts and long pants, ?
- Keep mosquitoes out with air conditioning or intact window screens, and ?
- Limit outdoor activities during peak mosquito times. ?
Measures communities can use to protect against Zika:
- At least weekly, carefully check the area around your home, school or workplace for mosquito breeding areas:
- Clear and empty gutters;?
- Empty or get rid of cans, buckets, old tires, pots, plant saucers and other containers that hold water;?
- Remove standing water around structures and from flat roofs;?
- Change water in pet dishes daily;?
- Rinse and scrub vases and other indoor water containers weekly;?
- Change water in wading pools and bird baths several times a week;
- Maintain backyard pools or hot tubs;?
- Cover trash containers;
- Water lawns and gardens carefully so water does not stand for several days;?
- Screen rain barrels and openings to water tanks or cisterns; and?
- Treat front and back door areas of homes with residual insecticides if mosquitoes are abundant nearby.?
- If mosquito problems persist, consider pesticide applications for vegetation around the home.
- Initiate or enhance monitoring and surveillance of mosquito activity; ?
- Develop a local contingency plan for mosquito abatement and surveillance, and plan for additional control measures if needed; ?
- Keep public drains and ditches clear of weeds and trash so water will not collect; ?
- Implement efforts to clean up illegal dump sites and collect heavy trash; and
- Encourage people to report illegal dumpsites and standing water, and respond quickly to these complaints. ?
In recent months, citizens have raised questions about the City’s mosquito control program and spray schedule. To address residents’ inquiries, staff has compiled a list of frequently asked questions in relation to this topic: http://bit.ly/2wMRYnF.
For more information on hurricane season preparedness and recovery from Hurricane Harvey, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4332. More information is available at www.missouricityready.com.
To learn more 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 watch Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse).