Mosquitoes Swarming After Rain

Mosquitoe increase raises West Nile worries

By Ken Kalthoff and Stacy Morrow
|  Friday, Oct 2, 2009  |  Updated 3:45 PM CDT
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Mosquitoes Swarming After Rain

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Get ready, West Nile could be coming soon. Maybe as early as this week.

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Wet weather in North Texas has produced an annoying mosquito problem, but most cities only spray to kill bugs that test positive for disease, not to please worried residents.

Many species of mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus and Encephalitis.

The West Nile Virus continues to be active in Dallas where at least 40 positive mosquitoes have been found, city officials said.  The city said it has been actively spraying those areas.

However some South Dallas residents who live on Bourquin Street near Hatcher and Scyene said they have been calling the city to complain and haven't found relief from the bugs. Just down the street is The Great Trinity Forest, a large wetland area that's perfect for breeding mosquitoes. 

Casandra Bennett said she can’t leave her dogs outside. 

“The minute you put them in your back yard, the mosquitoes are just on them,” she said.

Rose Mary Hurst has lived on the street for 47 years and said the mosquitoes are worse than she has ever seen.

“You go outside in the evening time, you check the yard, and your whole back is covered with mosquitoes,” Hurst said.  “That’s what’s so terrifying.”

Micheal Wheeler with the City of Dallas Environmental and Health Services Department has been to the neighborhood himself and agrees the problem is severe.  But he said the city is not currently planning to spray the area.

“We only spray for diseased mosquitoes or if we have a human case in the area,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler and others with the city use traps to capture mosquitoes for disease testing. 

Wheeler said most of the floodwater mosquitoes turning up now are not carrying disease.

“People always say ‘well you never spray in our area,’" he said. "Well, you can count yourself lucky because that means you don’t have disease in your area.”

Wheeler said cold weather will help tame the mosquitoes.

In the meantime, the city advises residents to discourage mosquito breeding by eliminating standing water from their property. People can also protect themselves by reducing time spend outside during evening and nighttime hours, using mosquito repellent and wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors. 

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