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Waging war on mosquitoes

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TYLER (KYTX) - The rain we are having today and the warmer weather make the perfect breeding ground for mosquitos.

It's not uncommon to see them start to buzz around this time of year, but it's expected to be a bad season.

Did you know all it takes to breed hundreds of mosquitoes is a plastic bottle cap full of water?

That's why NETHealth and other mosquito experts are urging you to check your back yard now, and get control of the situation before it's an all out war.

"Oldest one has allergies, so when she gets bit, it tend to well up pretty well and keep an eye on that," says Carter Delleney, a father of two girls.

Delleney says they love to play outside, that's why he wants to make sure his yard is mosquito-free.

"Any puddles, any objects have out in the yard that collect water, make sure to dump those," says Delleney.

And he's taking the right step, but he may need to call in reinforcements.

Nathan Crow owns Mosquito Authority.

He's been misting away bugs at 15 houses a week since March.

"85 identifiable mosquito breeds in the state of Texas, varies by county and area. Texas has the most active breeding of mosquitoes in the country," says Crow.

Crow says he treats with larvicide, and even uses what looks like a leaf blower, to spray down shrubs, plants and trees near homes.

"I've got officers right now walking creek beds, looking for stagnant water," says Bob Gardner, the animal and mosquito control supervisor for NETHealth.

Gardner says if water stands for 5 to 7 days, it will breed mosquitoes.

And while rains will wash away some of that problem, you have to check again to get rid of any standing water.

"Eggs can live 5-6 years, laying dormant, laying, waiting for water," says Gardner.

In the last few years there's been a growing number of cases of West Nile, but mosquitoes carry more than that.

"Encephalitis, dengue fever, yellow fever," says Crow.

A war that starts early in Texas.

"Definitely worth it for the little girls to be able to enjoy the outdoors," says Delleney.

And here's a fact you'll want to remember so you will clean up, mosquitoes live and die within about 150 yards of where they hatch.

So that means you may want to check the flower pots and bird bath as soon as you can.

NETHealth does spray within the city limits of Tyler, and many other cities and counties spray as well.

NETHealth will start that program around June first.

Of course there are things you can do to protect your family: wear long pants and shirts when you're outside, spray on repellant with deet, and avoid being outside at dawn and dusk.

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