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Local vector control busy combating mosquitoes after last week’s rain

Posted at 4:15 PM, May 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-14 18:23:35-04

Corpus Christi’s Vector Control was out collecting samples today from mosquito traps around the city.

They’re counting the number of pests in the traps to get an idea of how large the populations are in various parts of town.

And they are also looking for any of the mosquito species that carry disease.

There are 85 different types of mosquitoes in the state of Texas and 53 of them are found right here in the Coastal Bend.

Due to these numbers, Corpus Christi vector control crews have set up traps between Calallen and the Island.

“One of the guys will come pick them up,” said Tony Pantoja, control officer with vector control. “Monday through Friday, we’ll come pick them up, pick up a sample and take it back to the office and we’ll id them, and see what type of mosquitoes are they. “If there’s a high count, then O.K. We’ll know that we need to go spray that area that night.”

Among those traps are specialized ones called New Jersey light traps.

Eleven of them have been set up around the city.

These special traps have an electric charge within them that primarily attract a specific species of mosquitoes that are known to carry diseases like West Nile.

This morning, samples were gathered from different traps, varying between the New Jersey light and grava traps.

“And the other trap that we have that we picked up earlier is called a grava trap,” Pantoja said. “Those are the ones we set up on Monday morning and pick up on Tuesday morning, like we did this morning. We’ll pick them up and send them to Austin to get tested.”

The pests caught will be sent to Austin will be tested for potentially deadly diseases.

After last weekend’s heavy rains, the crews have gone from checking traps from once or twice a week to every day.

“The mosquitoes will try and lay their eggs in the water, but as soon as they go to the pipe area, is that they’ll get sucked up into the pipe and into the net. then they’ll stay there and the next morning, they’re alive,” Pantoja said. “Those are the ones we get tested for the West Nile, St. Louis and see if they have any viruses on it. Those are the ones that get tested next in Austin.”

Regardless of the results that come from Austin, vector control is more than ready to take action quickly to keep the community safe and in the know.

It’s been more than 3 years since local mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile disease. The vector control hopes to keep it that way.