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Bexar County To Fog For Mosquitoes Early


There are no confirmed cases of mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus in Bexar County, but the Department of Public Works is taking no chances. South Texas has had a milder winter, so officials expect mosquitoes sooner than normal. 

County workers have already begun larvacide treatment wherever there is standing water to interrupt the mosquitoes’ reproductive cycle.

They’ll also be checking to determine if Zika is present in area mosquitoes. Humans can contract Zika from mosquitoes if bitten. Renee Green is the Director of Public Works for Bexar County and says workers will use two types of traps.

"Both traps we’ll use to collect mosquitoes and send them to the state for testing, as well as give us an indication of where we might see high concentrations of mosquitoes," she says.

"The county hopes to set traps in the next two weeks," Green says.  

"This is the Gravid trap. The breeding females are attracted to the foul smelling water and collect in there. This is the CDC mini trap. The mosquitoes are attracted to the LED light and collect in that area," she explains.

The traps will be placed throughout the unincorporated area in Bexar County. The county will also be fogging with a water-based solution.

"The primary ingredient’s Primethren, and it’s a very, very diluted amount. It is not harmful to humans or mammals, very deadly to mosquitoes and fish in very, very high concentrations.

Fogging occurs at night and will begin a month early on April 1, weather permitting. The fogging season runs through September. Green also suggests eliminating standing water where mosquitoes breed, and using mosquito repellent whenever outside.

Louisa Jonas is an independent public radio producer, environmental writer, and radio production teacher based in Baltimore. She is thrilled to have been a PRX STEM Story Project recipient for which she produced a piece about periodical cicadas. Her work includes documentaries about spawning horseshoe crabs and migratory shorebirds aired on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. Louisa previously worked as the podcast producer at WYPR 88.1FM in Baltimore. There she created and produced two documentary podcast series: Natural Maryland and Ascending: Baltimore School for the Arts. The Nature Conservancy selected her documentaries for their podcast Nature Stories. She has also produced for the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s Distillations Podcast. Louisa is editor of the book Backyard Carolina: Two Decades of Public Radio Commentary. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her training also includes journalism fellowships from the Science Literacy Project and the Knight Digital Media Center, both in Berkeley, CA. Most recently she received a journalism fellowship through Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she traveled to Toolik Field Station in Arctic Alaska to study climate change. In addition to her work as an independent producer, she teaches radio production classes at Howard Community College to a great group of budding journalists. She has worked as an environmental educator and canoe instructor but has yet to convince a great blue heron to squawk for her microphone…she remains undeterred.