In an effort to ward off a growing population of mosquitoes, the city of Ennis will begin spraying for the pesky bugs next week.

The commission agreed to begin the process now, which is earlier than last year. Ennis City Manager Steve Howerton says the reason everything has been moved up is due to the abnormally high amount of rainfall the area has received in the past month.

“The increase in rainfall creates a favorable breeding ground for the mosquitoes, which means they have had the last few weeks to populate and are really thick at the present time,” Howerton said.

The city will begin spraying the week of June 10 and plans to cover a 33-mile area of the city between Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Areas south of Ennis Avenue are scheduled for spraying Tuesday evenings and areas north of Ennis Avenue are scheduled for spraying Wednesday evenings, weather conditions permitting. In order to be able to spray it can’t be raining and the wind must not be blowing more than 10 miles per hour so the spray area can be controlled. Spray activities will commence at approximately 9:30 p.m. and will be completed within three-four hours. Spraying is limited to city streets because alleyways are difficult for the trucks to maneuver and the risk of encountering children and pets is greater.

Howerton says that residents should not experience any adverse effects from the insecticide used as it is sprayed in an ultra-fine mist from a low volume fogger mounted on the trucks. However, sensitive individuals and people with pre-existing medical conditions, including asthma, allergies and emphysema, may experience temporary skin and eye irritation, congestion or runny nose, sore or scratchy throat, and moderate respiratory irritations. For these reasons residents are advised that the following precautions should be taken when spraying is scheduled in their neighborhood:

- If possible stay indoors during spray events

- Have children stay indoors until 1-2 hours after the spray event

- Bring pets indoors and cover fishponds and beehives

- Close windows and turn off fans or air conditioners that are exposed to outdoor air

- Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment and clothes from outdoor areas

- If toys, play equipment or furniture are left outside, wash with soap and water before using them again

- If you must stay outdoors during spray events, avoid eye and skin contact with spray. If contact should occur, rinse eyes with water or saline solution, and wash skin and clothing with soap and water

- Wash fruits and vegetables that are exposed to the spray before eating them

- If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms associated with the spraying, please contact your health care provider and ask them to report your symptoms to the Ennis Health Department (phone: 972-878-1234)

Further information on mosquito control may be found on the Texas Department of State Health Services website: www.tdh.state.tx.us and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website: www.epa.gov/pesticides/health/mosquitoes/