HOUSTON – Harris County leaders urged the public Monday to protect themselves from mosquitoes as the season for the bugs begins.
Officials said the increased heat and humidity of a Houston summer makes for an ideal mosquito-breeding ground.
Of the 56 species of mosquitoes found in the area, only a handful transmit disease, officials said.
“Our mosquito and vector control program has been protecting Houston (and) Harris County residents from mosquito-borne illnesses for more than 50 years,” said Harris County Public Health director Dr. Umair Shah.
Shah said that the success of the program depends on the public’s help.
Officials said residents should remove or empty container of standing water that are on their property. They said water in birdbaths and pet water bowls should be changed every three to five days. They said rain gutters should be cleared of debris, and screens on windows and doors should be installed or repaired.
Officials said people who are outside should use an insect repellent that contains the active ingredient DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535 or 2-undecanone. They said people should wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever possible.