Mosquito spraying continues throughout Harlingen

A blood-engorged female aedes albopictus mosquito makes a meal of a human subject.

HARLINGEN — After Hurricane Hanna hit Harlingen and surrounding areas, an alarming number of mosquitoes was left behind.

Josh Ramirez, Health Director for the City of Harlingen, said though spraying began last week it had been interrupted by recent rains.

According to Ramirez, spraying will continue through Thursday.

“We started on Friday and were scheduled to continue Saturday and Sunday, but we couldn’t spray,” Ramirez said. “We are continuing this week. We started sections last night that we need to continue. We want to finalize this week.”

The spraying areas cover south of Expressway 77/83 to Bass Boulevard, according to Ramirez.

Ramirez added it has not been possible to see a difference in the reduction of mosquitoes because of the interruption.

Ramirez said there are rural areas that are still flooded, which have not been able to be sprayed.

“We are going to continue monitoring the mosquitoes this month. These are water mosquitoes, and we are trying to collect some to identify the species,” he said.

Although spraying is planned until Thursday, Ramirez said it will continue next week if any interruptions happen because of more rain.

Also, he expects the spraying to continue during the next month.

Ramirez stressed families and residents need to get rid of any standing water in their homes. He also recommended using repellents and wearing long sleeve shirts.

“Removing water will help us stop the breeding of mosquitoes; make sure mosquitoes don’t lay eggs in plants and keep the grass mowed. Don’t leave a space for them to hide,” he said.

“ The amount of rain we got throughout the Valley was a lot. Even if we control Harlingen, they can be flying in from other areas,” Ramirez said.