Mosquitoes still menacing area
By Robin Scott
Mosquitoes have remained in the area throughout the summer. A relatively mild winter and greater than average summer rains has made it easy for mosquitoes to flourish. People who are suffering from the annoying itch of mosquito bites signal the need to spray insecticide by contacting the city offices.
At a recent city council meeting citizens assisting in the effort to minimize the mosquito population was discussed. David Gonzales, Supervisor of Street and Sanitation for the City of Dalhart, stated, “We’ve done more spraying this year than last year due to the amount of rainfall. We spray through the alleyways. Some of the spray may travel into other areas, but residents should consider spraying their own yards to help reduce the mosquito population.” The chemical insecticide that the city uses is a Permethrin- containing insecticide that requires a special license to administer, but Gonzales states, “Residents can purchase a product meant for home use.”
Mosquitoes congregate near homes because that is where people spend most of their outdoor time. Outdoor candles, torches and/or coils may be burned to produce a smoke that repels mosquitoes and use the oil of citronella. Over the counter insecticides may be sprayed in areas of the yard that may attract the mosquito. Additional tips that Gonzales encourages people to try are to keep weeds cut, grass mowed short, weeds removed in the yard and alley and don’t allow water to sit and stagnate anywhere in the yard because that’s where mosquitoes thrive.
Dusk and dawn are the mosquito’s favorite time during the day and when they are most active. Any standing water around the home should be drained. Wading pools should be drained every other day. Flowerpot bases, dog bowls, children’s toys, and things such as tires should also be monitored. Any standing water will attract mosquitoes and provide a place for their eggs to develop and hatch. Standing water is a “come in/welcome” sign to the mosquito.
The street and sanitation department for the city may only spray when the outside air temperature is less than 80º and the wind speed is less than 10 miles per hour. That is why the city sprays during early morning hours between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. Residents may expect spraying to continue until late September or early October when the temperature changes and remains cooler. Until then, maintaining the simple tips to reduce the mosquito population in one’s own yard is recommended.
The official beginning of fall is a short 30 days away. As the trees begin to change colors and then shed their leaves, the temperature falls into the 70’s and 60’s, and the sun begins to set before 7:30 p.m., mosquitoes will quietly disappear until next year. Until then, use repellants and insecticides to survive what is left of the mosquito season.