Mosquito control ramping up as days get hotter and humid

- It’s hot and muggy -- just what mosquitos need to breed. 

"Last week was our first real week of where we’re scrambling to make sure that we’re getting everybody covered in a timely manner," said Jared Smith with MosquitoNix in Houston. 

He says the mosquito control company is completing about 200 service calls a day. That number can nearly double when mosquito season peaks during the summer.

Smith says the calls include requests to spray for mosquitos, install misting systems, and do walk throughs with customers to look for possible mosquito breeding spots around their homes. The usual suspects are drains, buckets, gutters, and bird baths but there are others that may be overlooked such as undergrowth and decaying wood.

"You want to make sure that you don’t have any kind of area where there might be a dense moisture area," Smith added.

He also says bamboo can be a breeding spot because it's hollow. 

On Tuesday, Harris County Public Health held a press conference to share information on their new technologies to control and study mosquitoes. It has about 500 traps set up across the county including new "smart" traps that are part of a project with Microsoft. 

The county also has the ability to test mosquitos for diseases like the West Nile virus and, most recently, the Zika virus.

"Since last year, [we] are able to test for Zika in our mosquito population at our vector control lab," said Dr. Umair Shah, Executive Director of Harris County Public Health. He says before the mosquitoes would have to be sent away to other labs and the results could take weeks to come back.

However, Shah says the most important tool to help control mosquitos and prevent vector-borne disease is residents doing their part.

"We can not do it without the public," he concluded.

To learn more about Harris County's Mosquito Control Division, visit the division's website or call (713) 440-4800.

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