San Antonio Targets Mosquito Swarms After Record Rainfall | Texas Public Radio

San Antonio Targets Mosquito Swarms After Record Rainfall

Sep 19, 2018

San Antonio has declared war on mosquito swarms after recent rains, according to the city’s Metro Health District.


The National Weather Service reports this month is the second rainiest September in the city's history.

Forecaster Mark Lenz said, with more than 14 inches of rain so far this month, San Antonio is little more than a couple inches away from seeing its wettest September ever. But with so much rain, comes standing water.

And Joel Lara, a senior sanitarian with the city's Metro Health District, said standing water is a major concern when dealing with mosquitoes.  

“Our primary concern with, of course, the container mosquitoes ... just because of their primary and secondary vectors for the Zika virus and West Nile virus," he said.

Metro Health reports both viruses can cause illness and death. City health officials said there are no recent confirmed cases.

Bernard Capdeboscq of the city’s Metro Health District inspects a mosquito fogger machine at Lion’s Park.
Credit Brian Kirkpatrick / Texas Public Radio

In the fall of 2016, the city recorded 20 cases of Zika caused by mosquito bites.

Lara said the fogger trucks go after mosquitoes found in swarms in parks and other public spots

"We will fog an area where we see a high density and will benefit from spraying," he said.

Metro Health reports mosquitoes are laying eggs in standing water in places like potted plants, rain gutters and tire swings in trees.  

Rid your property of stagnant water and check window screens for holes to protect yourself from bites, he said.

City health officials also say you can plant citronella, basil, catnip, and lavender to repel mosquitoes.

MORE | Tips for mosquito bite prevention

  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin on skin not covered by clothing.
  • Spray insect repellent on the outside of your clothing (mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing).
  • Do not spray insect repellent on skin that is under clothing.
  • Insect repellents should not be used on young infants.
  • Do not spray aerosol or pump products in enclosed areas or directly on your face. Do not allow insect repellent to contact your eyes or mouth. Do not use repellents on cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
  • If working outdoors, use soap and water to wash skin and clothing that has been treated with insect repellent.

For the complete list

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org