Keeping mosquitoes away this summer

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — When you reach for your sunscreen this summer you might want to add some bug spray too. With plenty of recent rainfall and even more on the way, mosquitos are out in full-force.

“With rain comes places for mosquitos to grow, so the more it rains, the more you have mosquito populations out there and we’ve had a lot of rain here lately,” said Anthony Spanel, interim environmental heath director for the City of Amarillo.

Spanel said every day the city is out spraying for mosquitos but that is not always enough. 

“What we truly need help from the community on is maintaining personal property. Mosquitos breed in water, so anything on your property that can hold water, we’re talking flower pots, containers, just literally anything. You need to reduce that ability for those containers to hold water,” said Spanel.

Bruce Burney, owner of Bugs Burney Pest Control, said in addition to spraying, homeowner maintenance is key in reducing mosquito populations.

“The main thing is keep their weeds down real low, keep the foliage down real low. Dump all the containers of water around that way they don’t have a lot of water just sitting around. Clean up your grass clippings,” said Burney.

Spanel told us mosquitos are most active at dusk and dawn. He encourages wearing clothing which protects from mosquitos and applying bug spray with DEET when heading outdoors.

“Mosquitos are vectors for all kinds of diseases. You think about in our area, West Nile is the most prevalent. We see a lot of West Nile cases in and around our community. The better job we do, we reduce those numbers,” said Spanel.

Spanel also said homeowners should remember to “tip and toss”–checking every couple of days for sitting water.

He also said pet owners should regularly dump out water bowls.

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