El Paso

Mosquitoes on the rise in Borderland, along with disease concerns

Keeping mosquitoes down

El Paso, Texas - (Editor's note: You can track mosquito activity in the El Paso area by clicking here for an interactive map.)

A mild winter has the department of public health worried about an increase in the mosquito population, and potentially an increase in the diseases they transmit.

This is why El Paso Vector control is working around the clock to keep those numbers down. 

Matthew Montes is the lead vector officer with environmental services.

He says "From the larva to the adults we really try to minimize those numbers because we will never be able to eradicate the mosquito population."

Monte says chemicals are used in standing water to kill mosquitoes as they hatch.

But adult mosquitoes are trapped and tested for diseases like West Nile and Zika.

"We have a certain number or benchmark say it's 10 or 15 then that's the go-ahead to actually spray with the fogger we showed you earlier," Montes says.

Doctors with the department of public health in El Paso say the aggressive approach Vector control has used has kept the population down.

Dr. Fernando Gonzalez is the lead epidemiologist with the department of public health, he says "For the past three years we haven't had deaths in our community related to West Nile. That is a good indicator, the number of cases has decreased."

Dr. Gonzalez says the best way to keep from getting bitten, is to practice the four Ds.

Don't be outside at dusk and dawn, these are when mosquitoes are most active and looking to feed.

Use a mosquito repellant that uses Deet as the active ingredient.

Drain any standing water from debris and toys. It doesn't take much for a mosquito to lay eggs in.

Dress in long sleeves and pants to keep all skin covered as best you can.

These will all go a long way in preventing you from getting bitten and getting sick.

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