Jefferson County Mosquito Control District
     
Mailing Address:
8905 First Street
Beaumont, Texas  77705
Mosquito
Phone: 409-719-5940
Fax: 409-727-4176

 
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. until noon. & 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide the citizens of Jefferson County safe, effective and cost efficient control of mosquitoes while adhering to the highest standards of integrity and professionalism


All spray schedules are dependent on weather conditions or other unknown circumstances. The spray schedules are for general areas and may not include your specific neighborhood or weekend sprays.

The schedules we submit are for P.M. of the day submitted and A.M. for the following day. The schedules will be for aerial sections and separately for ground sections.

The spray schedule for Tuesday, P.M. 09-02-2014:

Aerial: Pleasure Island, Procter Extension, & Atlantic Marsh
Trucks: Port Arthur & Port Acres



HOW DO I CONTACT MOSQUITO CONTROL?

The Jefferson County Mosquito Control District offices are located at 8905 First Street, Beaumont, Texas, 77705. We can be reached during normal business hours from 8 AM to noon and 1 PM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, at 409-719-5940. When the mosquitoes are bad, you may have to call several times in order to get through. Please be nice to our secretary when you call - remember, it's not her fault!

If you are calling to request spraying for a public gathering or special event, please give us at least a week of advance notice. This enables us to perform surveillance, see what mosquito species is present and schedule control activities if required. Please don't call us the day before or the day of an event and expect us to be able to get there immediately.

CONTACTS


MOSQUITOES

We have approximately 50 species of mosquitoes in Jefferson County. Of these, the public commonly encounters about 12. It is important to know which species you are dealing with before control strategies can be planned and initiated, as the different species vary in breeding sites, flight ranges, peak activity periods, and biting behavior.


BASIC BIOLOGY

Eggs are laid in one of two ways, depending on the species. Some species (pool breeders) lay eggs directly on standing water. These eggs hatch in 24 to 48 hours, and the mosquito larvae take 5 to 7 days to emerge as adults. Fresh eggs are laid every day, so mosquito production is constant unless the water evaporates. This type of egg laying behavior is also common in artificial containers such as tires, bird baths, buckets & cans, rain gutters, etc. These species usually fly only 1 to 5 miles.

Other species (flood water breeders) lay eggs on dry ground in depressions or low areas that will hold water after a rain or high tide. These eggs are viable for several years, and will hatch in minutes after being submerged if water temperatures are in the right range. Again, 5 to 7 days are spent in the larval stage before the mosquito emerges as an adult. Because all the eggs hatch at once, large numbers of mosquitoes are produced simultaneously. Think of them as tiny time bombs! This is why you have no mosquitoes on one day, and the next day you are covered with them. These species can fly up to 100+ miles. Some species also lay these eggs in dry artificial containers.

Regardless of the species, only 20% of the eggs that are deposited survive to become adults, and of these, about half, or 10%, are females. This means that only 10% of the potential mosquito population causes all of our problems.


RICE FIELD MOSQUITOES

These are a large black mosquito with white or yellow bands on their legs. They are a flood water variety, with an average flight range is 20 to 40 miles. They are very aggressive biters, both day and night. The eggs are deposited in rice fields, fallow fields, & pastures in any depression that will hold water, including hoof prints. These mosquitoes are attracted to Beaumont and other areas in the western half of the county by the glow of lights at night, which are easily seen from as far away as Fannett or China. We try to intercept these mosquitoes on the edge of town as they migrate in. Residents can do nothing to help us control this species.


Aedes Sollicitans

SALT MARSH MOSQUITOES

These are medium sized brown mosquito with white bands on their legs. Also a flood water variety, they are very aggressive biters with a flight range of 100+ miles. This species is most common in the eastern and southern areas of the county, and is attracted to town by city and industrial lights. Again, we try to intercept them on the edge of town as they move in. The public, again, can do nothing to help.





ASIAN TIGER MOSQUITOES

Although first discovered in this country in 1985 in Houston, Texas, this species has become the #1 urban mosquito in the south. This is a small black mosquito with silver or white bands on the legs and one white stripe down the back between the wings. It lays eggs only in containers, not in puddles on the ground. Breeding sites for this species were originally in tree rot holes and stumps, but it now takes extensive advantage of the artificial containers that we so thoughtfully provide (cans, buckets, tires, bird baths, clogged rain gutters, pet water dishes, anything that will hold water for 5 to 7 days). Eggs are laid just above the water line in the container. Rain fall or movement of the container submerges the eggs, which hatch in minutes. Peak activity period for this mosquito is rather unusual, being during middle of the day instead of at night. The flight range for this mosquito only 1 to 2 miles, so if you breed them, you will feed them. They are hesitant but persistent in biting behavior. This species receives only minimal exposure to our sprays due to the unusual daytime activity period. The only effective control for this mosquito is removal of the breeding sites by property owner. The public must help with this one.


Culex Species

CULEX SPECIES

These are small, nondescript brown mosquitoes, most of which are active only at night. They breed in standing water high in organic matter, and are common in underground storm sewers and in water standing under houses built on piers. They have only a 1 to 5 mile flight range. One species can transmit St Louis Encephalitis if it bites an infected bird and then bites a human. Residents can help by eliminating water standing around the home.




CHEMICALS

Our insecticides have no real residual effect. We must actually hit the mosquito directly with a droplet in order to kill it. If more mosquitoes fly into an area after the spray has settled, they are not effected. Obviously, it is very important to spray the right place at the right time under the right weather conditions in order to achieve control. It is very frustrating and expensive when large populations of mosquitoes are rapidly re-infesting residential areas, as repeated sprays are required. Spray trucks are sufficient for light mosquito populations, but aircraft are needed for moderate to heavy infestations and covering large areas quickly.


SURVEILLANCE

This is the key to the control program. We must spray only where needed and when needed in order to contact the maximum number of mosquitoes with the droplets. Surveillance methods used include mosquito traps, take landing rates (count the number that lands on you from the waist down in three minutes at different locations in the county), and considering citizen service requests when planning control efforts. We must have enough mosquitoes in an area to justify expense of control activity, as the cost to put the an aircraft up with a load of chemical is approximately $2000. We can cover 5,120 acres with that one flight.


URBAN FLIGHT

More and more people are moving from the relatively mosquito free urban areas to the country and suburbs that are expanding on the edge of town. Folks are moving to the country for the "good life," but forgetting that the "good life" includes snakes, alligators, rats, mosquitoes, and mosquito control aircraft coming over at 100 feet early in the morning or in late evening.

People are moving into our primary intercept zones (Cheek, Willow Creek, Fannett, etc.), often in subdivisions that were recently ricefields or are surrounded by rice fields. It takes them a while to get used to the mosquito activity levels and the frequency of aerial spraying. Some residents don't like us spraying over them, but want us to somehow get rid of the mosquitoes. They do not understand the lack of residual in our chemicals. We will speak to civic or social groups as our schedule permits in order to explain the basics of our operation - what we can do and what our limitations are - if asked to do so.


WHY DOES IT TAKE SO LONG TO SPRAY?

Jefferson County has approximately 945 square miles of territory. Our recent rural and suburban population growth has dramatically increased the acreage in the aerial spray sections. The result is that with perfect weather conditions, it takes us about 7 days using 3 aircraft to cover all of the spray sections one time. Under heavy mosquito situations, we just can't keep up with the re-infestation rate. Even so, we use an average of 20,000 gallons of spray each year and cover over 1,250,000 acres each year with the aircraft alone.

We can only spray for about 2 ½ hours after dawn and for 1 hour before dusk because of thermal updrafts. These air currents are caused by the solar heating of the ground, which causes the warm air to rise upward. Spraying during these updrafts is a waste of time, money and chemical, as the spray droplets are caught in the rising column of air and never come down in Jefferson County.


WHAT CAN I DO TO HAVE LESS MOSQUITOES AT MY HOUSE?

The first line of defense is to make sure that you are not breeding mosquitoes on your own property. Walk your yard and check for anything that is holding water. Anything that can hold water for 5 days or more is a potential mosquito breeding site. Even bottle caps are capable of producing mosquitoes.

If you can, remove the container or store it where it will not fill with water. This is the best way to handle the problem. If the container is a bird bath, pet water dish, or some other container that you can not remove, then be sure to rinse it out completely every 3 days. Do NOT simply add water to the container - you must flush the mosquito larvae out onto the ground to kill them. If you collect rain water for your plants, simply place a piece of screen over the container so that the mosquitoes can't get in to lay eggs.

Remember to clean your rain gutters! Blockages can cause water to stand in them long enough to produce mosquitoes. Fill in low areas in your yard or under your house if possible. Repair all water leaks as soon as possible. Even plastic sheeting can hold water in the folds and produce large numbers of mosquitoes. Remember, if you breed mosquitoes, you will feed mosquitoes.

When mosquitoes are flying in from miles away, there is little the home owner can do. Most importantly, you do not want to attract mosquitoes to your house. Either turn off security lights or replace them with motion detector lights that come on only when needed. If you must have a security light on at all times, change the bulb from a mercury vapor to a sodium vapor bulb. The yellowish sodium vapor light is less attractive to insects than the blue-white mercury vapor light. Turn off your bug zapper - less than 2% of the bugs that you see killed are actually mosquitoes, but the light does attract them into the area.


MOSQUITO TRIVIA

The Jefferson County Mosquito Control District was organized in 1950 after the death of several children due to mosquito transmitted encephalitis. Dr. Paul Meyer of Port Arthur was instrumental in the formation of the District.

Mosquitoes can not transmit AIDS.

Bug zappers are best placed in your neighbor's yard so that the mosquitoes will go next door! Turn them off if the mosquitoes are heavy. If you do have one, don't hang it right over the patio table - move it back from where you will be located.

Purple martins and bats may eat a few mosquitoes, in fact, we count on their help, but they will not cause a noticeable drop in your mosquito population.

Only female mosquitoes bite. Blood supplies proteins to build eggs with, rather than being a food source. Mosquitoes live on carbohydrate sources like nectar and plant sap. They have even been known to sneak a little sugar water of hummingbird feeders.

The annual cost per Jefferson County resident for mosquito control (which also includes county roadside weed control) is $5.52 per person.


YOU STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

If you need additional information or answers to any questions that are not covered here, then call the Mosquito Control office and ask for the Director, Kevin Sexton. If he doesn't know the answer, he probably knows who to ask to find out.


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