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Solid Waste Department
8601 North Jasman Road
Edinburg, TX. 78541
Phone: 956 - 381 - 5635
Fax: 956 - 292 - 2064

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Solid Waste Management Mosquito Control

Mosquito Control is a basic service necessary for the health and welfare of our citizens during the summer months and our rainy season. An effective way to protect your family from disease-carrying mosquitoes is to get rid of them before they appear.

Follow these tips on how to prevent mosquito breeding.

Often, the most effective way to protect your family from being infected by disease-carrying mosquitoes is to get rid of them before they appear. Follow these tips on how to prevent mosquito breeding around your home:

  • Do not allow standing water to accumulate for more than two days. Common areas to check: old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools, the base of a flowerpot, pet dishes, plastic covers or any container that may collect water.
  • Change the water in birdbaths, fountains and wading pools at least once a week.
  • Clean debris from rain gutters and remove standing water under or around structures.
  • If you have a flat roof, check for standing water several days after a rain.
  • Check rain barrels for mosquito larvae. A tight cover will prevent egg laying. A thin layer of oil will kill mosquitoes already present.
  • Repair leaks or clear away puddles from around faucets and window air conditioning units.
  • Stock ornamental pools with minnows or goldfish (they eat mosquito larvae on the water surface) or treat the pools with biological larvicides (chemicals or natural bacteria that can be used to kill mosquito larvae).
  • Be sure to keep swimming pools, saunas and hot tubs clean and chlorinated. If not in use, keep empty and covered.
  • Empty accumulated water from boats and cargo trailers.
  • Fill or drain large puddles, ditches and swampy areas.
  • Remove, drain or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar.
  • Keep hedges and bushes trimmed to reduce shade.
  • Mow the lawn at least once a week. Mosquitoes can hide in the shade of tall grass.
  • Make sure windows, doors and porches are tightly screened and are free of holes.

To report mosquito problems in your area please call the Dept. of Solid Waste Management at 956-381-5635. We will conduct an onsite evaluation of your call and formulate a response based on our findings. Please remember that a call might not always result in active fumigation of your area. The City Integrated Pest Management Program delineates what steps must be taken prior to active adulticiding or fumigation.

The Life Cycle of Mosquitoes
All mosquitoes go through a four-stage life cycle: (1) egg, (2) larva, (3) pupa and (4) adult. To begin the cycle a female mosquito obtains a blood meal. One blood meal supplies enough nutrients for the female mosquito to produce up to 250 eggs at one time. She then finds an ideal aquatic location to lay her eggs, usually directly on the surface of stagnant water, in a depression or on the edge of a container where rainwater may collect. Within 48 hours the eggs will hatch into larvae. The larvae lives in the water from seven to fourteen days, only coming to the surface to breath. It feeds on microorganisms in the water until it develops into the third stage of the life cycle called a pupa. The pupa also lives in the water but no longer feeds. After one to four days the mosquito emerges from the pupal case as a fully developed adult. The adult mosquito then rests on the surface of the water to allow its body to dry and harden before it can fly away.

Male mosquitoes do not bite animals or humans; they feed only on plant juices. Females however are the blood-seekers. They need the protein that animal and human blood provides to produce their eggs. Exhaled carbon dioxide, from up to 100-150 feet away, is what first attracts a female mosquito to her prey. As the mosquito punctures the flesh, its saliva is injected into the skin. The mosquito's saliva is what causes an allergic reaction, leaving the puncture wound swollen and itchy. If the mosquito is infected with any kind of disease, it is transferred into the prey through its saliva.

There are approximately 3,000 different species of mosquitoes throughout the world. In the United States, there are 150 different species. Different species will carry different types of diseases and will attack and breed at different times of the day. To find out which types of mosquitoes you have in your area, go to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Web site to find contact information for your local EPA office.

Mosquito FAQ's

  • What's the best way to control mosquitoes?
  • Carbon dioxide-emitting devices, such as the Mosquito Magnet, and chemicals such as DEET and permethrin are proven, effective methods for controlling mosquitoes. Bug zappers, citrosa plants and citronella oils simply have not been proven as effective.
  • Do state or local agencies spray for mosquitoes?
  • Pesticides are commonly used by public health officials to eradicate mosquitoes in problem areas. Currently the City of Edinburg has implemented an Integrated Pest Management Program for Mosquito control. This plan utilizes the latest in GIS Tracking, Best Management Practices - for locating, tracking, identifying, monitoring, testing and control
  • What types of diseases do mosquitoes carry?
  • Every year, over one million people worldwide die from mosquito-borne diseases. Mosquitoes can carry many different kinds of diseases including the West Nile virus, malaria, heartworm, dengue fever, encephalitis and yellow fever.
  • Are mosquitoes a big problem in the U.S.?
  • In the United States alone, there are 150 different species. The most common species found in the U.S. include the Aedes albopictus, Culex pipiens and Anopheles quadrimaculatus.
  • Can a professional pesticide company or lawn and garden service get rid of mosquitoes in my yard?
  • Yes, but if you choose to hire a professional to get rid of mosquitoes, make sure you find a reputable company with licensed professionals. If used improperly, commercial pesticides can cause various health problems including eye, skin, respiratory and throat irritation, asthma, muscle spasms, neurological disorders, leukemia, and brain tumors.
  • Is there a way to prevent mosquitoes from breeding?
  • The best way to prevent mosquito breeding is to get rid of the stagnant water that they need to breed in. Don't allow standing water to accumulate for more than two days in or around your yard, keep bushes and shrubs trimmed back, and mow the lawn once a week.
  • Are certain people more at risk from mosquito bites and/or mosquito diseases?
  • Yes. Young children, adults over the age of 50, people with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women are at a greater risk of contracting diseases from mosquitoes than the rest of the population. In addition, dogs, cats and horses are at risk.
  • How fast can mosquitoes fly?
  • Depending upon the species, mosquitoes can fly at about 1 to 1.5 miles per hour.
  • How far can mosquitoes fly?
  • Mosquito species preferring to breed around the house, like the Asian Tiger Mosquito, have limited flight ranges of about 300 feet. Most species have flight ranges of 1-3 miles. Certain large pool breeders in the Midwest are often found up to 7 miles from known breeding spots. The undisputed champions, though, are the saltmarsh breeders - having been known to migrate up to 100 miles in exceptional circumstances, although 20 to 40 miles are much more common when hosts are scarce. When caught up in updrafts that direct them into winds high above the ground, mosquitoes can be carried great distances.
  • How much do they weigh?
  • Smaller species found around houses commonly weigh about 2.5 milligrams. Our largest species weigh in at a whopping 10 milligrams.
  • Why do mosquitoes feed on blood?
  • Female mosquitoes imbibe blood so that their eggs can mature prior to laying. It serves no nourishment function. Males do not take blood meals at all. In order to obtain energy, both male and female mosquitoes feed upon plant nectars - much in the same manner as honeybees.
  • What good do mosquitoes do?
  • Mosquitoes fill a variety of niches which nature provides. As such, placing a value on their existence is generally inappropriate. Although the fossil record is incomplete, they have been known from the Cretaceous Period (about 100 million years ago) in North America. Their adaptability has made them extraordinarily successful, with upwards of 2,700 species worldwide. Mosquitoes serve as food sources for a variety of organisms but are not crucial to any predator species.
  • Which state has the fewest mosquitoes?
  • West Virginia has the fewest species (26), while Texas has the most species (85). A determination of absolute numbers of mosquitoes for each state is extremely difficult, however, as mosquito populations tend to be focal, depending upon amount of breeding habitat, potential hosts and climatological factors - regardless of the number of species. Thus, relatively dry places like Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico may have intense mosquito activity in areas where water is present. Alaska has a relatively short season, but biting activity during that time is prodigious, indeed. Mosquitoes are particularly prolific in areas with rice farming, extensive salt marsh or dredge spoil.
  • How long do mosquitoes live?
  • Lifespan vary by species. Most adult female mosquitoes live 2-3 weeks. Some species that over-winter in garages, culverts and attics can live as long as 6 months.
  • If mosquitoes were eradicated, how would this affect the ecosystem?
  • Given that Nature abhors a vacuum, other species will fill the niches vacated by the mosquitoes after an initial shuffling period of variable length. Be advised, though, that species replacing mosquitoes may be even worse - it's extremely difficult to predict. Mosquitoes' ability to adapt to changing environments would make them all but impossible to eradicate.
  • How high do mosquitoes fly?
  • In general, mosquitoes that bite humans prefer to fly at heights of less than 25 ft. Asian Tiger Mosquitoes have been found breeding in treeholes over 40 feet above ground. In Singapore, they have been found in apartments 21 stories above ground. Mosquitoes have been found breeding up to 8,000 feet in the Himalayas and 2000 feet underground in mines in India.
  • Can mosquitoes transmit AIDS?
  • Many studies have been conducted on this issue in the United States and abroad. To my knowledge, there has never been a successful transfer of the virus from an infected source to another host by bloodfeeding insects under experimental conditions. The experts have concluded that the insects are not capable of such transmission. Many biological reasons would lead one to this same conclusion, but the extensive experimental studies are the most powerful evidence for the conclusion. HIV DOES NOT replicate in mosquitoes. Thus, mosquitoes cannot be a biological vector as they are for malaria, yellow fever, or dengue. In fact, mosquitoes digest the virus that causes AIDS. There is no possibility of mechanical transmission (i.e., flying contaminated syringes); even though we all know that HIV can be transmitted by dirty needles. However, the amount of "blood" on a mosquitoes' mouth parts is tiny compared to what is found on a "dirty" needle. Thus, the risk is proportionally smaller. Calculations based on the mechanical transmission of anthrax and Rift Valley fever virus, both of which produce very high titers in blood, unlike HIV, showed that it would take about 10,000,000 mosquitoes that first fed on a person with AIDS and then continued feeding on a susceptible person to get 1 transmission. Mosquitoes are not flying hypodermic needles. Mosquitoes regurgitate saliva into the bite wound (the normal route for disease transmission) through a separate tube from that through which it imbibes blood.
  • Which mosquitoes transmit WNV?
  • Many studies have been conducted on this issue in the United At least 43 species of mosquitoes have been found infected with the West Nile virus in the United States. Not all of these, however, are capable of maintaining the virus in such a manner as to permit them to transmit it among organisms. Many of these infected mosquitoes feed only upon birds, thus contributing to a cycling of the virus among avian populations. Other species feed upon these infective birds and then will feed upon mammals, including humans. These are called "bridge vectors" because they serve as a conduit for the virus to travel from its reservoir in birds to its final host in humans or other mammals. In urban settings, Culex pipiens is usually the primary vector. In rural areas, particularly in the western part of the United States, Culex tarsalis is the primary transmitter. As control measures for each of these mosquitoes are considerably different, it's important to know which is known to be in your area. Contact your local mosquito abatement district for information regarding the mosquitoes found in your area.
  • What attracts mosquitoes to me?
  • Why some people seem to be more attractive than others to mosquitoes is the subject of much repellent (and attractant for traps) research being conducted nationwide. Carbon dioxide is the most universally recognized mosquito attractant and draws mosquitoes from up to 35 meters. When female mosquitoes sense carbon dioxide they usually adopt a zigzagging flight path within the plume to locate its source. Once in the general vicinity of a potential host, other cues predominate, including body odors (sweat, lactic acid, etc.) and heat. Odors produced by skin microflora also play a part in inducing the mosquito to land. Over 350 compounds have been isolated from odors produced by human skin. Either singly or in combination, many of these compounds may be attractants - and many may be repellents. As you can see, the situation is complicated and will require many years of testing before it can be sorted out. Visual stimuli, such as movement, also factor into host-seeking. What can be safely stated, though, is that ingestion of garlic, vitamin B12 and other systemics has been proven in controlled laboratory studies to have no impact on mosquito biting. Conversely, eating bananas did not attract mosquitoes as the myth suggests, but wearing perfumes does. People drinking beer have been shown to be more attractive to mosquitoes. Limburger cheese has also been found to be attractive. Scientists have theorized that this may explain the attractancy some mosquitoes find for human feet.
  • Are pesticides used in mosquito control safe?
  • Since its inception, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has regulated mosquito control through enforcement of standards instituted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. This legislation mandated documentation of extensive testing for public health insecticides according to EPA guidelines prior to their registration and use. These data requirements are among the most stringent in the federal government and are met through research by established scientists in federal, state and private institutions. This process costs a registrant several million dollars per product, but ensures that the public health insecticides available for mosquito control do not represent health or environmental risks when used as directed. Indeed, the five or six adulticides currently available are the selected survivors of literally hundreds of products developed for these uses over the years. The dosages at which these products are legally dispensed are at least 100-fold less than the point at which public health and environmental safety merit consideration. In point of fact, literature posted on the websites of the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators and National Pesticide Information Center emphasizes that proper use of mosquitocides by established mosquito control agencies does not put the general public or the environment at unreasonable risk from runoff, leaching or drift when used according to label specifications. (For the federal government's position on risks associated with mosquito control insecticides, visit http:/ The safety profiles of public health insecticides are undergoing increasing scrutiny because of concerns with how the specialized application technology and product selection protect the exposed public and environment. In fact, well over 200 peer-reviewed scientific studies in various national and international refereed journals since 1980 have documented the safety and efficacy of these public health insecticides at label rates in addition to their application techniques
  • Do mosquito sprays affect animals other than mosquitoes?
  • The extremely small droplet aerosols utilized in adult mosquito control are designed to impact primarily on adult mosquitoes that are on the wing at the time of the application. Degradation of these small droplets is rapid, leaving little or no residue in the target area at ground level. These special considerations are major factors that favor the use of very low application rates for these products, generally less then 4 grams active ingredient per acre, and are instrumental in minimizing adverse impacts.