Recent reports suggest a higher level of mosquitoes than usual in Brazoria County. Jim Ryan, the director of the Brazoria County Mosquito Control District, attributes the increase to “recent heavy rains and tides from Hurricane Alex” according to an article by Courtney Zubowski of Channel 11. Residents have also indicated that the mosquitoes do not only seem to have increased in number, but are larger and more aggressive.
Mosquito bites are not just irritating; they can also be harmful. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that mosquitoes are able transmit viruses that cause diseases such as the West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis, both of which can be terminal. Mosquitoes are also known to cause Malaria; however, the risk for any of the above named diseases is low. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), only 20% of infected individuals will show symptoms.
The following are ways you can protect yourself and family from mosquitoes
1. Use an insect repellent:
While an obvious tip, insect repellents do just what they say; they discourage mosquitoes and other insects from landing on you. While repellents seem very effective, most individuals are cautious about using them, for fear that improper or overuse may be bad for the health. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has helpful guidelines for the use of insect repellents on their website.
2. You can protect yourself with clothing:
The CDC suggests that individuals should use long-sleeved clothing which has been sprayed with an insect repellent containing permethrin. While mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing, the repellent should help keep them away; additionally, you do not have to spray the repellent directly on your skin.
3. Spray your yard:
While according to Ryan, the government is working longer hours to protect the community from mosquitoes. Residents can also help by spraying their own backyards. While this does not guarantee long-term results, you may benefit from almost immediate relief. Ryan is also quoted to have said that in two weeks, mosquito levels are expected to return to normal.
4. Try to stay indoors early mornings and evenings:
Unless you have to, do not go outdoors in the early morning or evenings, this will reduce your chances of coming in contact with mosquitoes, since according to the CDC, these are peak hours for the blood-loving bugs.
5. Remove standing water from around your home:
Standing water gives mosquitoes a place to breed. By filling up puddles with sand and emptying containers, you will reduce chances of mosquitoes breeding around your immediate vicinity.
Brazoria County is not the only area affected by mosquitoes, most of the Cities along the Gulf Coast have the same problem.