While the recent rains have been welcomed by all, the City of Levelland reminds its citizens that the rains will bring a major new crop of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes continue to be concern and potential health problem carrying diseases such as encephalitis, yellow fever, malaria, and West Nile virus in humans and diseases such as heart worms in pets.
While the City of Levelland is gearing up for its war on mosquitoes by treating public playa lakes and spraying evenings once mosquitoes are active, citizens are reminded that they also play an important role in this fight.
“The best way to fight mosquitoes is to eliminate their breeding environment,” says City of Levelland Health Officer Gary Lyon. “Mosquitoes lay their eggs in calm, standing water, and eliminating these areas can break the cycle of mosquito reproduction.” My. Lyon also reminds citizens that allowing standing water can be a violation of the health code.
Citizens should check their properties for areas and containers which are holding rain water or lawn watering runoff. Old cans, tires, trash receptacles and such should be checked often and emptied of standing water. Wading pools, plant vases, bird baths, and pet water dishes should have the water changed twice weekly. Dripping or leaking plumbing should be repaired.
These precautions should be taken even if there is no evidence of mosquitoes. Eggs could have been lain there weeks earlier and can lay dormant until covered with water. Once in water the eggs hatch in a day or two and the mosquito larvae develop.
The Texas Department of State Health Services urges citizens to practice the 4 D’s: Drain standing water; avoid being out at Dusk and Dawn; Dress appropriately with long sleeves and long pants; and use an effective mosquito repellent, such as one containing DEET.
The City continues to treat city playa lakes and spray as needed. “While our efforts can have an impact,” said City Manager Rick Osburn, “an effective mosquito reduction program requires the help of all citizens.”