Harris County: First West Nile Virus mosquito sample of 2024 found

Harris County Public Health's Mosquito and Vector Control Division has confirmed that a mosquito sample has tested positive for West Nile Virus in Harris County. 

Officials said the positive sample was collected from a mosquito trapping site inside Loop 610 in Houston in the 77019 zip code. 

SUGGESTED: Downtown Houston street closures remain for falling glass after storm

Officials stated that in response to West Nile Virus being identified, Harris County Public Health's Mosquito and Vector Control Division is activating evening spray operations in the area where the positive sample was found and surrounding areas. That operation will begin on Wednesday evening at dusk to reduce the risk of the disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. 

"After the recent rains and warmer first months of the year, we are seeing an increase in mosquito populations. We remind our residents to enjoy the outdoors but remember to protect themselves and their families from diseases transmitted by mosquitoes." said Dr. Maximea (Max) Vigilant, Harris County Public Health's Mosquito and Vector Control Division Director.

Mosquitos are around throughout the year; however, they are more prevalent during the warmer months, and typically most active from June through October, officials said. 

FOX 26 Houston is now on the FOX LOCAL app available through Apple TV, Amazon FireTV, Roku, Google Android TV, and Vizio!

Out of the 56 species of mosquitoes found in our area, only a handful transmit diseases such as West Nile Virus, Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika. 

Most people who are infected with West Nile Virus show no or only mild symptoms such as: low grade fever and headache. More severe signs and symptoms can include high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, encephalitis, and rarely, death. 

If you think you have been infected with WNV, contact your health care provider.


As temperatures rise, so do mosquito populations. MVCD wants residents to remember the 3 Ts when it comes to mosquito control in their area – "Tip, Toss, Take Action".

Follow these simple tips to prevent mosquito breeding sites around your home, especially right after a weather event:

  • Tip or empty standing water from pet bowls, flowerpots, tires, buckets and other containers.
  • If you have a birdbath, change its water every three to five days.

Mosquitoes are also able to breed in small spots where stagnant water might be hidden from the human eye. Practice the following tips to reduce mosquito breeding in those covered spots:
- Toss out debris, trash, and other unwanted items around your home.
- Clean out clogged rain gutters.
- Keep outdoor trash bins closed and avoid overfilling them.
- Do not sweep lawn clippings, leaves, or litter into storm drains as this will prevent water from flowing, creating ideal mosquito-breeding sites.
- Minimize opportunities for standing water to accumulate by emptying stagnant water from flowers pots, buckets, tires, or any other water-collecting objects.

Take action
There are also several ways to take action and reduce mosquito populations.

When using mosquito repellent, keep these points in mind:
- Use as directed by the label instructions on the product.
- Do not use insect repellents on babies younger than 2 months of age.
- Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than 3 years of age.
- Apply an EPA-registered repellent on yourself and your loved ones when outdoors.
- When possible, wear long sleeves, pants, and socks.
- Treat standing water with larvicides in areas where water cannot be covered, emptied, or removed and will not be used for drinking. Larvicides are a type of pesticide that is applied to kill mosquitoes in their early stages of development (larvae) before they become biting adults. They are sold in forms of liquid, tablets, pellets, granules, and briquettes and available in most hardware stores. Larvicides are safe to use for the environment. Follow the instructions of the larvicide product you are using.
- Make sure to completely turn off outdoor faucets to prevent leaks; fix any faucets that are constantly leaking
- Keep tight-fitting screens on doors and windows.

For other mosquito prevention tips and resources, click here