They're Back--Protecting Your Home From Mosquitos and West Nile

It's on it's way back. Local health officials think its possible West Nile could hit our area even harder than last year. The disease, transmitted by birds and mosquitos, spread rapidly through the U.S. and parts of Texas in 2002.

Animal control in Tyler is already spraying public parks hoping to ward off mosquitos. And Tyler homeowners like Letha Coon are looking for every hidden crevasse in her yard where mosquitos can reproduce.

"I don't think there is any place in this yard where they can't find a place to lay their eggs," says Coon.

Every year, Coon is faced with the fact her property collects drainage from three blocks away. It took only a few moments for Mosquito Control Specialist Gary Chambers to find hidden mosquito beds in Coon's garden.

Chambers says a  teaspoon of water is enough for a mosquito to lay its eggs. He recommends getting rid of all water sitting longer than three days.

"Just dumping the stuff over will help a lot," he says. "Don't allow buckets to stay in the yard. Birdbaths, flower pots, kiddie pools, rain gutters...any place where water can be trapped."

Gary says the same breeds of mosquito that produce near people and homes are known for transmitting diseases like West Nile. Letha, a longtime gardner tries to stay atop of it, but often the mosquitos work faster.

"It's an impossibility for me because I have two thirds of an acre here and cannot control all the places that mosquitos hide."

Mosquito Control Specialists say it has been a dry year so far; however, they're already busy putting minnows into public water holes to prevent mosquito reproduction. Business is also picking up for local vets who are giving West Nile vaccinations to horses across East Texas.