Standing water a growing concern in fight against West Nile

While the rain over the weekend was a welcomed sight across Texoma, the puddles and pools of water left behind can become a breeding ground for pesky mosquitoes.

There have been at least 20 deaths from West Nile in Texas this year and we know that mosquitoes have tested positive in Wichita Falls for West Nile.

The Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District wants to kill the threat of West Nile by treating standing water.

James Garcia, health inspection supervisor for the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Health District, says the health department wants to kill the mosquitoes at the source.

Garcia says the numbers of mosquitoes that we have trapped had actually decreased over the two weeks but those numbers could possibly go up because of the rain

He adds that residents need to get rid of standing water because if left untreated, it can create the perfect nesting ground for mosquitoes to lay their eggs and breed.

"A lot of people think that it needs a lot of water to breed mosquitoes. The fact is some type of mosquitoes can actually breed in small amounts of water such as the size of a bottle cap," Garcia says.

The health department is dropping larvicide tablets in the water that will kill mosquito larva and prevent the threat of the West Nile virus.

"We are actively larvaciding which we are putting product out in easements along county and city roads and most places we can gain access to such as public parks," Garcia says.

Garcia says homeowners can do their part by draining areas where water have been pooled or collected.

Health department officials say residents who can not afford to treat standing water can pick up larvicide tablets for free at the health department office.

For assistance, contact the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District Environment Health Division at 940.761.7890.

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