September 24, 2008
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced today that targeted post-Hurricane Ike aerial spraying for mosquitoes may begin as early as Thursday night in parts of the following counties: Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton and Orange.
Weather permitting, spraying will take place from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. until completed.
The spraying is to reduce the proliferation of mosquitoes that is hampering recovery efforts and prevent the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses such as St. Louis encephalitis and West Nile infection after heavy rains and flooding from Hurricane Ike.
Specially equipped twin-turbine King Air planes from Clarke Mosquito Control and Dynamic Aviation will be used. The planes may be flying as low as 300 feet above ground.
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. People also should use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 when outdoors, following label directions.
(News Media: For more information contact William Ayres, DSHS Communications, 512-532-4969 or 512-458-7400.)