By JACOB LOPEZ
In the ongoing war against mosquitoes, local communities have struck a critical blow against the blood-thirsty pests.
City of San Benito Code Enforcement Director John Rodriguez says that the city recently finished its second round of spraying.
“Schedules have been running at either 4 or 5 in the morning, or in the late evening. So a lot of people don’t really see us out there, and we’re trying to do it during times when we’ll have less contact with the citizens,” said Rodriguez.
“We’re going back, and we’re going site-by-site … trying to help the people understand that they themselves need to help us…,” said Rodriguez, explaining that citizens can help by eliminating standing water – a breeding ground for mosquitoes – and keeping their lawns maintained to inhibit the growth of mosquito larva.
“We’re going to hold off [spraying] for a little bit,” said Rodriguez, adding that they may end up doing a third round “in a week or two.”
Much of this consists of spraying then larvicide, a process that kills the mosquito larva.
Rodriguez said that they cannot just go out “spraying and spraying and spraying,” because, he explained, “it creates an immune system … you just don’t want to create that immunity where they’re used to that spray. You kind of have to stagger it out.”
Ben Medina, city administrator for Rio Hondo, said the city has been spraying for over a month now.
“We’re spraying three times a week. We sprayed last night, and we’ll spray again on Wednesday and on Friday,” Medina continued Tuesday, adding, “People are very happy that we’re doing that.”
Los Fresnos is also doing its part to eliminate its mosquito problem, according to City Administrator Mark Milam.
Adrian Rodriguez, public information officer for the City of South Padre Island, said the Island is spraying “every morning at 4 a.m.” and in the evenings “whenever the wind isn’t blowing.” Rodriguez explained that strong winds would simply blow the spray right off the Island.
A press release issued by the City of SPI reads, “Due to recent heavy rains, the South Padre Island Environmental Health Services Department (EHSD) larvicided standing water on the entire Island.”
Balde Alaniz, public works director for the City of Port Isabel, said “[We spray] Monday, Wednesday and Friday.”
Alaniz added that the city has already put larvicide briquettes in the drains, “and any standing water.”
The public works director added that citizens should also help when possible.
“It takes them five to 10 days,” from the time it rains to when the mosquitoes multiply, Alaniz noted. The current infestation is largely due to last week’s rain.
Meanwhile, Laguna Vista City Manager Rolando Vela said, “The Town has been mosquito spraying every single day,” adding on Tuesday, “we sprayed this morning at 4 a.m. We will be doing this every day until we can this problem under control.”