SAN BENITO — As the bothersome mosquito season continues to loom over South Texas, cities keep searching for the best ways to combat the pests.
San Benito city officials hosted an unveiling ceremony yesterday morning for the city’s newly purchased fogger machine, which will be used to kill mosquitoes in the area.
The city’s latest piece of equipment is called the London Fogger and cost about $14,000.
With city officials such as Mayor Ben Gomez in attendance, a representative of PHESCO International, LLC explained each of the London Fogger’s features and conducted a test run using sugar water.
According to PHESCO International President Charlie Reeves, most mosquito foggers, also known as flow machines, are restricted to 10 miles per hour fogging.
“I think what makes the London Fogger stand out is the fact that you can utilize the GPS on it,” Reeves explained. “It also allows operators to fog at up to 22 miles per hour, thus reducing the amount of time it takes to cover a specific area.”
City of San Benito Planning and Development Director Bernard Rodriguez said he believes the machine could make a huge impact for San Benito and plans to put the machine to work immediately.
“We had an old sprayer that was about 20 years old,” he said. “So, upgrading to this level of vector control will be a win-win.”
According to Rodriguez, South Texas is conducive to the spread of mosquitoes due to humidity and standing water.
He said city officials are asking residents to assist them in eliminating breeding grounds for mosquitoes by completing tasks such as getting rid of old tires and cutting their grass.
“Back in the day, mosquitoes just bit you and they were a nuisance,” Rodriguez said. “Now, mosquitoes can get you sick, so that’s the biggest health issue that we’re trying to counter.”
TIPS FOR ELIMINATING STANDING WATER
• Get rid of used tires
• Repair leaky faucets
• Change water in bird bath weekly
• Screen or cover rain barrels
• Store wheelbarrow, canoes, etc. upside down
• Remove used containers and bottles from your property
• Clean out leaf-clogged gutters
• Clean overgrown ponds and stock with fish
PLANTS THAT REPEL MOSQUITOES
• Catmint and catnip
• Eucalyptus and cadaga trees
• Lemon-scented geranium
PREVENTING MOSQUITO BITES
• Use insect repellent when you go outside
• Drain standing water regularly
• Wear long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active
• Keep screens on doors and windows in good condition to keep mosquitoes out