Trophy Club, TX (October 20, 2021) – October for most of us typically involves falling leaves, pumpkin spice and outside fires filled with crisp Fall air. But as we all know, here in Trophy Club, we are usually kidding ourselves as we face 90+ degree heat, unbearable humidity and only the occasional tease of a that crisp Fall air.
The truth of the matter is mosquitoes appreciate our Fall just as much as our summer. In fact, they rarely go away here in Texas. Hibernation only occurs once temperatures drop beneath 55 degrees and stay there for at least a week, or we get 3 deep freezes in a row.
As we all now, Fall in Texas does involve falling leaves, and those play a role in our mosquito patterns. The more leaf litter (and pine needles) on the ground, the darker and damper the soil. There is nothing a mosquito appreciates more than shade and moisture. The leaves create the perfect spot for a female to lay eggs. One rain shower and roughly 300 can hatch under one leaf. The hatched adults immediately breed and the females, once they have bitten and acquired the blood protein required to lay eggs, go off to find another home to lay more eggs. Before you know it, the mosquito population is high, and enjoying the cooler evenings are no longer something anyone can enjoy.
What can you do?
Keeping the yard raked will play a huge role in reducing mosquitoes on your property. Maintaining a tidy yard will have a huge impact!
Another important location to keep clean and clear of debris is the gutters of your home. Leaves and pine needles can quickly block them, and the resulting standing water is another location mosquitoes will quickly take advantage of (even gutters that are covered cause issues). The leaves that sit atop covered gutters will turn into sludge with rain. That sludge falls into the gutter and causes blockages. Often times huge mosquito populations occur in these areas because the gutters are blocked, and homeowners don’t realize it. If you have covered gutters, hit them with water from a hose to push out all the debris inside them and keep them clear.
Finally, be aware that some Fall décor can cause issues as well. Check for standing water after rain and be sure to dump any you can. And remember, it won’t be long until Christmas! Let’s just hope we don’t have another ice storm…. Although that will surely help rid us of this nasty nuisance.
What has Trophy Club done?
Trophy Club contracted with an independent company, Municipal Mosquito who specializes in mosquito surveillance and abatement for the 2021 mosquito season.
The Mosquito Management Program includes weather monitoring, activity reports, inspection and ongoing larvicide treatment of known mosquito development sites, stormwater catch basin inspection, and treatment, adult mosquito surveillance (four traps located in known mosquito areas, one is a Zika trap), and weekly testing of trapped samples.
After 24 weeks, we can proudly say every West Nile Virus trap collection sample result was negative this season! The last week of October is the final collection week of the 2021 program until we begin monitoring again next May.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please contact 682.237.2900 or for general questions about West Nile Virus in humans please call the Denton County Health Department’s West Nile Hotline at 940-349-2907. For general questions about West Nile virus in animals, please call the Texas Cooperative Extension at 940-349-2882.