The additional rains this year have increased the chances of the Texoma region having a larger than normal mosquito population.
Grayson County Health Department Registered Sanitarian Katy Osbourn said while it is a little early for the insects to be out, the rainy conditions are right for an increased population. She said it is important for people to keep an eye on any standing water especially dirty water where the pests like to lay their eggs.
The insects like to wait for 80 degree temperatures before hatching their eggs.
“They like warmer weather,” Osbourn said. “They love to lay eggs in dirty water. If they see standing water in flower pots or tires that is what they look for. Check the gutters. Anything laying around like children’s toys, bird baths and depressions in the yard. They can also lay eggs in something as small as a pop lid.”
She said it takes more than changing the water. It is important to clean out the item in question to ensure the eggs are removed.
The mosquito most common in the area is the Culex species. The issue the Grayson County health officials look out for the most is West Nile, although she said the insects can carry any number of blood borne illnesses and viruses.
“They hatch in hotter weather,” Osbourn said. “Then they seek blood from humans as well as animals like dogs, cats and even horses.”
Obsourn said to wear long sleeve shirts with long pants during mosquito season. She said keep pet dishes clean and to ensure pets get their heart worm medicine regularly as the insects can carry heart worm. Those most at risk are the elderly, children and anyone with immune system issues.
Osbourn said there aren’t any current signs of any issues regarding insects but that county officials always monitor the situation to keep tabs on what is going on.
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