Wet August weather brings mosquito danger to Texoma - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Wet August weather brings mosquito danger to Texoma

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Day Donaldson/CC BY 2.0 Day Donaldson/CC BY 2.0

GRAYSON COUNTY, Texas -- We've had the rain over the past few days. And with the moisture comes mosquitoes.

It's important to be aware of the steps you need to take to help control the insects that transmit the Zika and West Nile viruses after these storms.

So far in 2017, the Centers for Disease Control reports 15 cases of West Nile in Texas and two in Oklahoma; there are 16 confirmed Zika cases in Texas and one in Oklahoma.

Standing water -- whether it's in a bird bath or a plant pot -- is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  August is historically the hottest month of the summer, when most mosquito breeding grounds dry up.

But with all of this rain, that doesn't seem to be the case this year.

"When we have a very wet August, there's lots of places for those mosquitoes to lay their eggs," explained Josh Stevenson of the Grayson County Health Department. "Those larvae need a water source, and they don't really need a lot of water. So with increased rain and decreased temperatures, we're going to see an increase in the mosquito population."

He said we need to be cautious of these mosquitoes.

"West Nile virus is here;  you know, Dallas has had positive cases already this year," Stevenson said. "So when it comes to mosquito-borne illnesses here in Grayson County, West Nile virus is probably the one you need to be most aware of."

Standing water
Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. (KTEN)

Standing water is the biggest factor leading to an increase in mosquitoes that could be carrying these viruses. How can you help?

"After a big rainstorm like this, it's always a good idea to just take a few minutes, walk around your property, your back yard, your front yard, and look for that pot you might have left out, or you now-empty soda cans or water bottles, or anywhere that water can stand, and go ahead and dump it out."

While there have been no Zika cases reported in Grayson County this year, residents still need to be careful when it comes to those pesky mosquitoes. 

"There's really no reason to be alarmed or fearful, but it is a good time to take a step and look at your property and be aware that these diseases are out there," Stevenson said. "They're just part of our lives now, and we need to take precautions."

Other tips to preventing mosquito bites:Install screens on your doors and windows and use insect repellent.

Laboratory-confirmed symptomatic Zika virus disease cases as of August 2, 2017

Image: CDC

West Nile Virus Activity by State – United States, 2017 (as of August 1, 2017)

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