The recent abundance of rain throughout the area has been both a help and a hindrance to the efforts of the city of Ennis mosquito spraying according to City Manager Steve Howerton.
The continued fresh rain helps because it flushes away any water that could have been collecting bacteria to become stagnate but it also hinders the efforts of the city to help keep the pesky bugs from multiplying by spraying insecticides to kill them.
“Due to the nature of the compound we use to help control the mosquito population, it is not beneficial for us to spray when the humidity is high or if the winds are over 10 miles per hour. Unfortunately, with all the inclement weather, it has prevented us from spraying over the last several weeks,” Howerton said.
While the weather keeps the city from spraying for the bugs, they are trapping mosquitoes to test for illnesses including the West Nile virus and so far, all tests have come back negative for any diseases. Weekly monitoring and checking for diseases that are easily transmitted will continue as the summer season moves closer to warmer weather and an increased presence of the insects.
The city will continue to spray when the weather conditions permit and will cover the area south of Ennis Avenue on Tuesday evenings and the area north of Ennis Avenue is scheduled for Wednesday evenings, both beginning at 9:30 p.m.
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/