Clinical and Public Health Microbiology

Texas Asks the U.S. Air Force to Spray Aerial Insecticides on Flood-Stricken Counties

In a time-honored tradition that also followed Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav, Texas asked the U.S. Air Force to spray aerial insecticides on flooded areas to keep down mosquito populations and prevent disease.  The Air Force has responded with C-130 cargo planes from airfields around San Antonio.

Residents were informed of the flights and beekeepers were asked to cover their hives.  State officials also asked residents to drain standing water or cover it with oil, use mosquito repellent, and wear long-sleeved clothing outdoors.

The Air Force began spraying over three eastern Texas counties over the weekend and will expand to other areas over the next two weeks said officials from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).  About 1.85 million acres had been treated as of Tuesday.  Houston’s Harris County has sent out fogging trucks every night since September 4 to areas with dense mosquito groupings.  In Jefferson County on the east Texas coast, aerial spraying began Sunday and could end Tuesday.

Mosquito-borne diseases include West Nile virus, chikungunya virus, Zika virus, malaria, yellow fever, and Dengue fever.

For more information, go to the DSHS web site