No proof of mosquito-borne illnesses in Sugar Land, Katy


Tropical storms. Standing water. Itchy red welts.

Mosquito season is just around the corner, and this year, residents of Sugar Land and Katy have reported a larger than usual surge in local mosquito populations. Oversized salt marsh mosquitoes have also appeared, being pushed inland from the coast by strong winds.

Brian Culpepper, Fort Bend County’s vector control chief, said mosquito spraying is a routine. In addition, samples from the areas showed no evidence of mosquito-borne diseases.

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“Fort Bend County Road and Bridge capture mosquitoes to send samples to the Department of Health’s laboratory to test for disease,” said Culpepper. “Currently, the samples collected show no evidence of a mosquito-borne disease. The mosquitos that people see are considered to be pesky mosquitoes, which are not the type of mosquitoes that transmit disease. “

Mosquitoes are expected after a tropical storm. However, this year’s extremely active hurricane season has created an environment ideal for a mosquito population explosion.

“Last year the rain was more distributed, which is normal,” said Culpepper. “If we see more storms, more mosquitoes will lay more eggs where there is stagnant water.”

Larvae hatching in puddles that would otherwise have dried up, as well as swarms that were driven inland from the Gulf, contributed to the massive surge in mosquito populations, Culpepper said.

Although we cannot control the weather, we can protect ourselves by wearing protective clothing and minimizing the mosquito habitat by not allowing water to pool in our yard.

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The Fort Bend County Road and Bridge has been performing nightly nocturnal sprays on target areas for three to five hours, Culpepper said. During the day, larvicide pellets are released into stagnant bodies of water.

“But given the concerns, overwhelming calls and emails, and increased mosquito volume, we plan to spray all resources eight to ten hours at night when the mosquitoes go out until we cover the entire county,” he said. “Lots of homeowners’ associations have a pesticide company contract, we’re not going to spray in those subdivisions.”

Fort Bend County Road and Bridge have an interactive map on their website that citizens can access.

Culpepper added that the county had been careful not to over-treat the areas with mosquito repellant to avoid the impact of other insects on the environment and to reduce the chances of mosquitos becoming resistant to the chemicals.

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