Mosquito spraying after flooding


HARLINGEN — With thunderstorms and flooding, the aftermath is debris.

But an infestation of mosquitoes that could carry diseases is a different type of worry.

That’s why Cameron County officials are making sure neighborhoods are being taken care of after last week’s storms and flooding.

“We started larviciding — which is when we place insecticide specifically to combat larva growing in the standing water — right after the rain began,” said Veronica Ramirez, Health Educator of the Cameron County Public Health Department.

“We are constantly moving around trying to spray as much as we can. We do this year around but because of the rain and flooding we are actively doing so right now.”

According to Ramirez, spraying can only be done early in the morning or late at night. Not only that, but the spraying can only be done when the wind blows less than 10 miles per hour.

In efforts to make sure residents are safe from contracting any diseases, the Cameron County Public Health Department opened two stations this week, one in Santa Rosa and another in Combes, to hand out insect repellent and insecticide dunks for standing water.

The distribution of these kits began Tuesday and Ramirez said they will continue to provide repellent as long as supplies last.

“So far we have about 500 repellents and dunks to give away. However, if we run out people that have eligible insurance can request to get a repellent refill every month  according to a standing order for the Department of State Health Services,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez stated that the best way to not get bitten is to try to stay indoors, get rid of any standing water and containers where breeding could happen and to wear clothing that covers up.

Diseases can be contracted with just one bite.

Olga Montes, of Combes, arrived at one of the stations to receive her free repellent.

‘There was a lot of water in my area; my whole street was like a lake and we have a lot of mosquitoes and they are attacking you the minute you get out the door,” Montes said.

Montes lives on Poplar Street in Combes.

“There is still some water in the front canal so I hope we don’t get more rain. But I think it’s awesome and great for Cameron County to give these services to people that don’t have money to go buy repellent.”