Frequently Asked Questions: Mosquito Control Program
In recent days, citizens have raised questions about the City’s mosquito control program and spray schedule. To address residents’ inquiries, staff has compiled a list of frequently asked questions in relation to this topic:
Does Missouri City have a program to manage local mosquito populations?
Yes; the City has a strategic program in place that is targeted to work toward environmentally friendly control of adult mosquitoes and prevention of breeding sites. The contractor is Cypress Creek Pest Control and their agreement requires that four to five trucks spray every Thursday from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. beginning each year in May through the first week of November.
Spraying covers all streets and neighborhoods within City limits, including the private streets of communities that have provided a gate code for accessibility by the spraying contractor. Also, in addition to the contractor’s cycle, City staff sprays common areas where mosquitoes swarm like parks, green spaces, and the Quail Valley Golf Course.
If there are adverse weather conditions the contractor will spray on Friday evenings or the first available good weather evening afterward.
Missouri City’s mosquito control approach is a standard followed by other municipalities in the region as well.
What pesticide and spray method does the City’s contractor use?
Eco-friendly Kontrol 30-30 is sprayed in areas citywide, including key locations where mosquitoes swarm. Kontrol 30-30 is the industry standard insecticide and is also used by other regional cities such as Sugar Land, Tomball, Conroe and Rosenberg.
The City’s contractor uses an ultra-low volume spray method, which industry experts regard as the most efficient system for controlling adult mosquitoes. The City’s contractor performs this industry-standard application process in the early morning (pre-dawn), or at night when bees are not working the blooms to minimize any potential contact.
When the mosquito population increases, how does the City respond?
Staff closely monitors the issue, and when necessary, additional spray days are added for communities and greenspaces citywide.
Do residents and stakeholders have any input into the frequency of the spraying, location of spraying, or the product(s) used for spraying?
Yes; residents who have questions or concerns about the mosquito control program and spray schedule, may contact the City directly at 281.403.8500 or ‘Submit an Inquiry’ via this City website link: http://bit.ly/2I6CuiR.
What mosquito-borne diseases are of main concern in the Missouri City metropolitan area?
The West Nile and Zika viruses.
In regards to Zika, the Texas Department of State Health Services notes the following:
- The virus is primarily spread through mosquito bites and can spread from mother to child;
- The most common symptoms of the disease are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes); and
- Two cases have been reported to DSHS as of the week ending April 27, 2018; both in Williamson County. In 2017, there were 55 cases reported—0 were in Fort Bend County and 11 were in Harris County. In 2016, Fort Bend reported 11 cases and Harris reported 74.
In regards to West Nile, the Department notes the following:
- The virus can infect humans, birds, mosquitoes, horses and some other animals;
- People who become infected will experience symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, skin rash, swollen lymph glands, disorientation, tremors, muscle weakness and neck stiffness among others;
- There is no specific treatment or vaccine for West Nile; for severe cases, intravenous fluids, fever or pain medicine and antibiotics have been used.; and
- In 2017, Texas reported 133 cases of West Nile illness and 5 deaths. In 2016, the State reported 370 cases and 18 deaths.
What are some preventative measures residents and visitors can take to “Fight the Bite”? Preparedness is essential to prevention and staff encourages residents to prepare themselves by following the 4 D’s:
- DUSK/DAWN are the times of day you should try to stay indoors. This is when infected mosquitoes are most active;
- DRESS in long sleeves, pants, loose and light-colored clothing when outside. For extra protection, you may want to spray thin clothing with repellent;
- DEFEND yourself by using an insect repellent that contains DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Follow label instructions and reapply as you would with sunscreen, after sweating and swimming; and
- DRAIN standing water in your backyard and neighborhood. Make sure that flower pots, water dishes, bird baths and wading pools are properly drained.
In the event you get a mosquito bite, experts recommend the first-aid procedures below:
- Wash the bite with soap and water
- Apply anti-itch cream or use calamine lotion or oatmeal bath for itching
- Place an ice pack to reduce any swelling
- Seek medical attention immediately if you experience dizziness, swelling of lips and throat or difficulty breathing.
For more information about Missouri City, please watch the City website: www.missouricitytx.gov, like us on Facebook—fb/MissouriCityTX, follow us on Twitter, Instagramand Snapchat—@MissouriCityTX and watch Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse).