August 2, 2008
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced today that, weather permitting, targeted post-Hurricane Dolly aerial spraying for mosquitoes may begin as early as Sunday night in parts of Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties.
Nighttime aerial spraying will continue from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily for several days until the 1.1 million acres identified for mosquito control in the three counties are covered.
The spraying is to reduce the proliferation of mosquitoes that is hampering recovery efforts and to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses such as St. Louis encephalitis and West Nile infection after heavy rains and flooding in the Rio Grande Valley following Hurricane Dolly.
Specially equipped twin-turbine King Air planes from Clarke Mosquito Control in tandem with Dynamic Aviation will be used. The planes may be flying as low as 300 feet above ground level when spraying.
Dibrom, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved insecticide, will be used at an application rate of 0.66 ounces per acre. The EPA states that Dibrom can be used for public health mosquito control programs without posing unreasonable risks to the general population when applied according to label directions.
However, beekeepers in the region should take protective measures to prevent damage to their hives.
The public should continue to eliminate standing water and other mosquito breeding areas around their homes and be sure that door, porch and window screens are in good condition. In addition, people should use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 when outdoors, following label directions.
(News Media: For more information contact Emily Palmer, DSHS Assistant Press Officer, 512-844-1379 or 512-458-7400.)