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By CHELSEA TYSON
The University has scheduled ABC Pest Control to come on Friday morning to spray the campus in response to the latest “buzz” on campus. Seemingly overnight, the University has become infested with mosquitoes, causing students to wonder where these bloodsucking nuisances came from.
According to Sandy Kachur, the spokesperson for the Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services (HCPHES), Houston’s subtropical climate makes the arrival of mosquitoes inevitable during the summer. Houston’s climate, combined with humidity and puddles of standing water from recent rains, create ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
In addition to their annoyance, there is often concern about diseases, such as West Nile virus, commonly associated with these pests. HCPHES has set up 268 mosquito traps around the county to collect samples of mosquitoes for testing. According to the latest results there has been an increase in mosquito numbers but a decrease in mosquitoes carrying diseases among the insects in the area.
Kachur said that there are over 56 different types of mosquitoes in Harris County alone. Some, like the Asian tiger mosquito, only bite during the day, while others, like the Culex mosquito, are more active at night and are often found near areas with stagnant bodies of water.
Not all types of mosquitoes transmit diseases, but it is still highly encouraged to take precautions; especially in times of large infestations. Kachur advised students to guard themselves against mosquitoes by applying any repellant that contains N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET).