Bexar County officials said they are bolstering efforts to decrease the opportunities for mosquitoes to breed, just as the city of San Antonio reported the first positive case of West Nile Virus in a local mosquito pool.

The background

County officials said rain, humidity and rising temperatures produce ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes in and around Bexar County.

Since early April, Bexar County Public Works crews have been implementing steps to control the local mosquito population by treating known bodies of standing water with larvicide, according to a news release.

In May, the efforts are centered around setting traps, specimen testing and fogging established routes.

Art Reinhardt, Bexar County public works director, said it is important to control the local mosquito population because the insect transmits various diseases, such as West Nile Virus.

The city’s Metropolitan Health District officials on May 16 confirmed a mosquito pool trap collected near the intersection of Ray Ellison Boulevard and Loop 410 tested positive for the virus. City representatives said pest control treatment and fogging services will take place soon in the affected areas.

The county’s mosquito abatement program features an ongoing cycle of monitoring, tracking, preventive treatment and response to reports.

“Our mission is to improve the general welfare and safety of the residents and visitors of Bexar County, not only through infrastructure programs but also important programs, such as the mosquito abatement program,” Reinhardt said in a statement.

Take action

County representatives said residents can advance efforts toward keeping themselves and others safe from mosquito-transmitted diseases by implementing the following strategies:
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Dress in long sleeves and long pants when outdoors.
  • Stay indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Drain standing water where mosquitoes breed, including old tires, flowerpots and clogged rain gutters.
  • Use air conditioning or window/door screens.
Residents inside unincorporated Bexar County may call the county public works office at 210-335-6700 to report increased mosquito activity. Dedicated crews will respond and treat the area if warranted, the release stated.