City works to make Borderland mosquito free

The El Paso Department of Public Health said a man in his 30s was infected with the West Nile virus.

One of the worst parts of summer may soon be back in the borderland. As the weather gets warmer mosquitoes could be just days away from resurfacing. That’s why the city is acting now to ensure everyone in El Paso can enjoy summer days mosquito free. That’s why crews are starting work on storm drains where mosquitoes hibernate.

“They can stay there all winter. it's nice and warm,” Pete Ortega, code compliance inspector, said.

That's why Oretga said now is the time for proactive measures by placing traps in storm drains across the city.

“When we turn them on that little bulb goes on and that's what they're attracted to,” Ortega said. “Bugs are attracted to light.”

Once the mosquitoes follow the light, it's lights out.

“The way they get pulled into the trap is it's got a little vacuum and they'll get sucked into the nets,” Ortega said.

When they're caught crews return to pick up the day's catch. They keep track of where each catch was located for further mosquito population control.

“That information is going to be really useful for us to know where we caught this mosquito, the type of mosquitoes that we're catching, and we know this is going to be a target place during the summer once we start doing our evening fogging,” Ortega explained.

After that, the info and the catch of the day are sent over to UTEP researchers.

“They can identify them for us and once we know the species that we have we know that they can be carriers of those viruses,” Ortega said.

Ortega said they’re predominately looking for possible carriers of West Nile Virus though it’s possible to see Zika, Chikungunya, and even yellow fever carriers. That’s why it’s so important to start now with mosquito prevention.

“We know that about half a cup of water can produce about 1,200 mosquitoes every seven days,” Ortega said.

You can also help to protect your home by getting rid of any standing water like in dog bowls, bird baths, or in spare tires left outside.

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