HOUSTON, Texas — After any big rain, you can expect to see an increase in mosquitoes.
They haven’t been too bad in recent weeks, but that’s because it’s been so dry. Any time some rain comes down, the mosquitoes come out.
As soon as the rain falls, mosquito control gets to work.
“As soon as we see the rainfall amounts, we will go to those areas, and try to be proactive and take care of those areas by, you know, if we find buckets and things, pour those out," Director of HCPH Mosquito & Vector Control Chris Fredregill said.
Fredregill said the drought has kept some mosquito populations down, but the rain can easily bring them back up.
“The numbers are down a little bit," Fredregill said. “If it starts raining pretty regularly, like a typical Houston summer, then we expect to see those numbers come back up.”
And in any rain, he says mosquito eggs that have been dormant and without water can hatch within 24 hours of being submerged.
“Some can sit dormant for years," Fredregill said.
Once a dormant egg hatches, they become larvae, and if the water they’re swimming in doesn’t dry up in 3 to 5 days, you’ve got mosquitoes.
“They’ve had a few million years to get this right," Fredregill said.
Harris County is constantly trapping mosquitoes. They freeze, sort, and then study them, checking for viruses. But when it comes to controlling them at home, you can help too.
“Eliminate any standing water, that stands for 3-5 days around the residence and to wear an EPA approved repellent," Fredregill said.
The county only sprays for mosquitoes when a virus is found or after a natural disaster. If you feel the mosquitoes are particularly bad around your home, you can call the county, and they will send an inspector out to take a look.