LONGVIEW — Early efforts by the city of Longview to control the mosquito population reduced the number of daytime mosquitoes, but there’s still an abundance of the West Nile-carrying Culex, city officials said Wednesday. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, Longview Environmental Health Department Supervisor Buck Farrar said, “This mosquito (Culex) got the upper hand early and may have ousted the others.”
Mosquito traps set out by the Environmental Health Department are used to count the number of disease-carrying Culex mosquitoes. Counts are not declining, he said, even though there’s not much moisture. The National Weather Service reports Longview is about 7 inches below normal for precipitation this year, with the last measurable rainfall recorded June 17. “This is an opportunistic insect. It will make the most of what it finds in people’s yards, and there’s still plenty available to support that population,” Farrar said.
City crews continue to spray Thursday mornings due to high numbers of Culex mosquitoes found in traps around the city, but Farrar said those are sort of going unnoticed by residents. Traps on Moore, Chestnut and Avenue B each had more than 100 Culex mosquitoes gathered during the week, while those on Memphis and Cypress contained about 50, he said. The city considers a Culex count of 50 as a threshold to initiate spot spraying in a given area, officials have said.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there has been one case of West Nile neuro-invasive reported so far this year, in Anderson County. There has been one case of West Nile fever reported, which was in Tarrant County. This past year, 89 people died of West Nile neuro-invasive disease in Texas.