Feeling the sting lately? Fort Bend, Harris counties combat spike in mosquito population

HOUSTON – In Fort Bend County, officials have been inundated with almost 2,000 complaints in the last week about mosquitoes and spraying is now underway.

The mosquito control division will now be spray across the county for the next several nights to fight this current outbreak.

Resident Cici Nguyen said she and her family love to be outside, but with the spike in mosquitoes lately, all she’s been doing is spraying her yard and home.

“We have sprayed all the brands out there that they have at Lowe’s and Home Depot, we spent like almost over 200 something dollars worth of that,” Nguyen said.

Residents in Jordan Ranch subdivision say the bugs have been vicious and have come out in swarms.

“When we open the door -- I get like seven or eight mosquitos in my house at one time,” said Shannen Garrett, who lives in Fort Bend County.

“We bought some Zapper, so we’re trying to control them on our own at entry points into the house,” said neighbor Brook Warner.

Fort Bend County officials in charge of mosquito control in the Road and Bridge Division, said they are seeing a huge spike in mosquito numbers.

Every week, they trap and test mosquitoes for blood-borne illnesses and lately, have caught a larger than usual amount.

“If we catch over that threshold, then we’ll go ahead and spray because we know there is a lot of mosquitos. We are going to move tonight and start spraying all night long for at least four nights and see if we can’t make a dent in the populations,” said Brian Culpepper, with the Fort Bend County Road and Bridge Division.

In the meantime, they want to remind Fort Bend County residents to get rid of any and all standing water.

Officials said to check the usual spots: Rain gutters, drainage systems, broken toys in the yard or anything that can hold any amount of water.

“The main thing is they need to get the water out of their yards. Turn over flower pots that are holding water and any kind of children’s toys in (the) backyard,” Culpepper said.

Some good news in Fort Bend County, no mosquitoes have tested positive for any blood-borne illnesses this year.

Spraying will begin at 9 p.m. Tuesday until 6:30 a.m. for the next four nights.

Officials say residents should see immediate relief but remember to stay on top of any standing water.

In Harris County, officials have not gotten a huge number of complaints but they are still asking residents to help control the current spike.

If you have been outside in Harris County lately, you’ve probably encountered a surge of mosquitoes.

“We have the Asian Tiger mosquito and the Yellow Fever mosquito and they tend to occur really close to residence,” said Chris Fredregill, director of Harris County Public Health Mosquito Control Division.

Harris County health officials say this peak in mosquitoes is pretty common this time of year.

We are currently dealing with floodwater mosquitoes.

The heavier rains in September helped fuel this current spike.

“And so anytime you have that amount of rain it’s going to end up pushing water to areas where it’s normally not, flooding habitats these nuisance mosquitoes prefer,” Fredregill said.

He said to make sure to rid of any standing water, any amount, anywhere.

As far as spraying across Harris County, crews will only spray if mosquitoes test positive for diseases in the area or a disaster is declared where mosquitoes are hindering recovery efforts. Officials said too much spraying can cause mosquitoes to become resistant to chemicals used.

“We apply our insecticides very judiciously and we also monitor our insecticide resistance levels around the county,” Culpepper said.

Harris County officials say if you are noticing a large number of mosquitoes on your property, call the Mosquito Vector Control Offices at 713-440-4800 or visit its website and fill out a form. An inspector will inspect the property and treat your home for mosquitoes.