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Bexar County Begins Mosquito Abatement

TPR archive

Bexar County has begun its annual mosquito-abatement program a little early this year, partly because San Antonio had a mild winter which could encourage more mosquitoes. But fears over the Zika virus have also affected government response.

County spokeswoman Laura Jesse says only 36 percent of the mosquitoes in Bexar County are the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which carries Zika.

“There’s also West Nile, chikungunya and dengue fever that we want to prevent in the community,” Jesse says.

The county fogs 1,300 miles of rights-of-way that it maintains and 4,200 acres in county parks each spring and summer.

It also is launching a public education campaign to enlist the help of residents and business owners to get rid of standing water everywhere on their property.

“In garbage cans, gutters, buckets, pool covers or any kind of tarp that might capture and hold water. They should get rid of old tires and anything else that can collect water. And then also regularly empty and clean bird baths because the mosquito eggs will attach to the sides of containers. So they need to not only dump out the water but also clean the outside of the containers,” Jesse says.

The county uses the chemical permethrin in its foggers, which Jesse says will not harm animals. Workers also will place larvicides in water-prone areas to eradicate mosquitoes where they breed.