City of Amarillo staying ahead of Mosquito population

City of Amarillo staying ahead of Mosquito population

Despite the abnormal amount of  rain in Amarillo, city officials say they are continuing to keep the mosquito population low. The city has been working hard to keep the mosquito population at bay, this means more man power and a longer spraying season.

Their strategy? Staying proactive instead of reactive. The city started spraying mosquito larvae in April, almost a month earlier than most counties in our area and officials believe that strategy worked.

Shaun May the Director of the Amarillo Environmental Health Department says, "It's really about getting to the Mosquito early. so it's this big kind of strategy shift that I've brought with me and that the staff came up with and it's been really effective."

They have also dedicated more man power to the operation and they provided  their workers with updated equipment.  
May also says, "We changed out all of the pumps on those Gators for higher performing pumps and the actual spray guns that get out there. But I think that we have responded by just trying to get all hands on deck and trying to improve the equipment so that we can be more effective."

The number of calls they have received complaining about the bugs has decreased. The city says this time last year they fielded hundreds of calls a week and this year, its down to about 20. The Department of Public Health has also seen a positive change. This year they've recorded fewer cases of the West Nile virus in Amarillo, although officials couldn't say for sure if the spraying caused the decrease.

Casie Stoughton from the Health Department says, "So far we have seen about 11 cases of West Nile, which puts us fewer than what we saw last year. At this time we had about 26 cases of West Nile reported."

Mosquito season is almost over. Officials are waiting until the first freeze to stop their weekly sprays but even then, they will still be on the lookout. 

"We could have a freeze then we could have a warm period. You know we are going to have to stay on top of it and keep an eye. But really looking for that first freeze, I think that is going to provide us with a lot of relief from the Mosquito's." You are experiencing a mosquito problem you are encouraged to call the Amarillo Environmental Health Office.