The mission of the Chambers County Mosquito Control department is to protect the public from vectors and vector-borne diseases in the most cost effective way. Our aim is to prevent an excessive mosquito population that could negatively affect the quality of life and the regional economy for our citizens.
Chambers County spans roughly 600 square miles, and recent population growth in rural and suburban areas has substantially increased the acreage within our aerial spray zones. Under favorable weather conditions, it now takes approximately five days to cover all these zones with one aircraft. Annually, we use around 10,000 gallons of spray, effectively protecting and enhancing over 625,000 acres throughout the County using this single aircraft.
The initial defense against mosquitoes begins at the household level. Conduct a thorough property assessment to identify potential mosquito breeding sites. Anything capable of retaining water for more than five days, even small items like bottle caps, poses a risk.
If feasible, relocate or store these containers to prevent water accumulation, as this is the most effective approach. In situations where removal isn't practical, such as bird baths or pet water dishes, adopt a routine of rinsing them every three days. Avoid the simple addition of water; the key is to flush out any mosquito larvae onto the ground for elimination. For rainwater collection used in plant care, consider using a screen to prevent mosquito egg-laying.
Maintenance of rain gutters is crucial, as obstructions can result in standing water and create a mosquito breeding environment. Address low-lying areas in your yard or beneath your house whenever possible. Swiftly rectify water leaks, as even plastic sheeting can trap water and contribute to mosquito proliferation. It's essential to remember that breeding mosquitoes inevitably leads to increased mosquito presence.
While it's challenging to prevent mosquitoes from distant areas, certain measures can help avoid attracting them to your residence. If you have security lights, consider deactivating them or replacing them with motion-activated lights that only activate as needed. If continuous lighting is necessary, switch from a mercury vapor bulb to a sodium vapor bulb, as the yellowish sodium vapor light is less appealing to insects than the blue-white mercury vapor light. Additionally, consider deactivating your bug zapper, as it primarily captures non-mosquito insects, while its light can attract mosquitoes to the vicinity.
The term "urban flight" denotes the phenomenon of urban residents relocating to rural areas.
A growing number of individuals are making the choice to leave urban environments, typically characterized by a lower presence of mosquitoes, in favor of life in rural and suburban settings. Their motivation often centers on the pursuit of an improved quality of life. However, it's crucial to note that this envisioned "better life" encompasses interactions with a spectrum of wildlife, including snakes, alligators, rats, mosquitoes, and occasional sightings of low-flying mosquito control aircraft during early morning or late evening hours.
Furthermore, these newcomers frequently settle in subdivisions that were formerly rice fields or are encompassed by such fields. It takes some time for them to adapt to the heightened mosquito activity and the routine aerial spraying. Some residents may express concerns about aerial spraying above their residences while maintaining expectations of effective mosquito control, often without a complete understanding of the limitations associated with chemical treatments, which lack a residual effect.
With Chambers County since 1992, Lawrence Lewis possesses a wealth of experience in the field of entomology. His qualifications include certifications from the Texas Department of Agriculture in Vector Control and Structural Pest Control, in addition to being certified by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.