The Texas Department of State Health Services is providing an update on aerial mosquito spraying operations after Hurricane Harvey. DSHS is working with counties that have requested assistance with mosquito control to coordinate spraying by two state contractors and federal support through FEMA and the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
Flight operations treated about 525,000 acres over Aransas, Jackson, Jasper and Sabine counties Friday through Sunday nights. Crews will be spraying over portions of Jasper and Newton counties tonight in response to a request by the counties to cover additional areas. They aim to complete all aerial spraying Monday or Tuesday night, as conditions allow.
A total of approximately 7 million acres has been sprayed across all areas. Flight schedules are subject to change.
The goal is to reduce the effects mosquitoes are having on recovery efforts and the possibility of a future increase in mosquito-borne disease. During aerial spraying, a small amount of insecticide is sprayed over a large area, one to two tablespoons per acre. When applied according to label instructions by a licensed professional, it does not pose a health risk to people, pets or the environment. According to the EPA, people may prefer to stay inside and close windows and doors when spraying takes place, but it is not necessary.