Rain and Mosquitoes

State and local health officials are spreading the word that all the rain of recent weeks is going to cause an explosion in the mosquito population any time now, including several varieties of mosquitoes that carry serious diseases. Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell reports.

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As the night follows the day, mosquitoes always multiply by the millions after extended rainy spells. Harris County Mosquito Control spokesperson Sandy Kachur says it's because there's so much standing water providing so many places for pesky and dangerous mosquitoes to breed.

"It usually takes about five days or so for any eggs to develop and we'll start seeing mosquitoes, but, then again, you know we do live in a climate here in Harris County where mosquitoes are inevitable, so it is important for people to take personal preventive measures."

Such as making sure window and door seals and screens are in good condition, and checking your property for standing water.

"Flower pots that can be emptied, plastic swimming pools, empty the bird bath. Look up and look into your gutters because a lot of times there's a lot of standing water just with debris up there. So it's important to just walk around, empty the standing water and that will hopefully reduce the likelihood of an explosion of mosquitoes."

Kachur says wet Houston summers always produce mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus, St. Louis Encephalitis and dengue fever, all of which can be serious in some people. She says people should protect themselves when outdoors with insect repellent, long pants and long sleeve shirts, especially around sunup and sundown, when mosquitoes are most active. She says the mosquitoes are coming, count on it, but you still have a little time to get ready for them. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.