Montgomery County, Texas – The Office of Commissioner James Noack of Montgomery County Precinct 3 reported on August 3, 2021 that nine mosquito samples have tested positive for the West Nile Virus in the last week. The commissioner’s office is warning residents that this development in the mosquito population increases the risk of people contracting the virus.
The discovery was made through routine mosquito surveillance performed by Precinct 3’s Mosquito Abatement Team. Thus far in 2021, the team has collected and tested 400 samples with a combined 27,000 mosquitos and 47 samples in total have tested positive for the virus. According to the Center for Disease Control, the prevalence of the virus is seasonal in temperate climates such as those found in Texas with the peak season stretching from July to October.
Justin Fausek, Director of Mosquito Abatement for Precinct 3, says, “Everyone who is able to do so should wear some kind of insect repellent when they go outside. It’s the most effective means of protection available as long as you follow the instructions on the label.”
When looking for an effective repellent, the commissioner’s office recommends choosing a product registered with the EPA in a concentration that is appropriate for the length of time spent outdoors. Other recommendations include wearing long, light, loose clothing; avoiding outdoor activity between dusk and dawn when the disease-carrying mosquitoes are most active; and eliminating standing water in and around the home.
In response to the recent activity, the commissioner’s office has already conducted 70 treatment missions covering over 21,000 acres and has plans to conduct 16 more before the week’s end. Even with the treatments, residents are strongly encouraged to take personal protective measures in order to keep themselves and their families safe from the West Nile virus.
Treatment methods often involve the use of ultra-low volume (ULV) foggers which disperse pesticides in the air throughout a wide area. To prevent an abundance of mosquitos, the team also attempts to control the population at the larval stage by finding and eliminating stagnant water or treating the water with a larvicide if it cannot be removed. The team relies in part on residents to inform them of standing water that cannot be drained.
For more information or for help in identifying and dealing with mosquito breeding sites around the home, please call 281-364-4203 or email Justin Fausek at [email protected]