VICTORIA, Texas — A bit of good news for Texans who will be getting together with friends and family and for community celebrations during the long Fourth of July holiday weekend: Not as many mosquitoes will on the hunt as in previous years because of dry weather patterns.
"They're a little bit down, but of course, with the increased activities outdoors, they're going to be looking for a meal," said Charles Boswell, owner of Mosquito Squad of Victoria. "I just encourage people to wear long, loose, light-colored clothing and wear repellent."
Boswell said DEET remains the standard-bearer for mosquito repellents, although those with lemon eucalyptus or Picaridin also have proved effective.
No West Nile virus-related deaths have been reported in the state so far this year. A few thousand cases and 89 deaths were recorded in 2012, however. Many of those cases were from metropolitan areas where mosquitoes often breed in man-made containers, Boswell said.
"I've got to believe that (they're breeding in) things like old rubbish and leaves and trash and stuff gathered up around property," he said. "Just a little bit of water goes a long way in initiating a breeding cycle, and so the best thing people can do is keep their property cleaned, mowed, 'weed-eated' and treated for mosquitoes."
The peak time for West Nile cases in Texas is usually from early to mid-July through the end of August.
More information is online at dshs.state.tx.us.