Because of our climate and rainfall, Friendswood residents are at risk from viruses and bacteria transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. They most commonly carry West Nile virus, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. In Friendswood, Galveston and Harris Counties are responsible for mosquito control. Harris County focuses only on areas that have been impacted by West Nile Virus.
Friendswood supplements the counties' efforts by spraying at City facilities, public parks and by providing additional spraying in public rights of way in the Harris County portion of Friendswood.
Friendswood residents can call their respective county to request spraying in a specific area. Contact Harris County Mosquito Control at 713-440-4800 or click on www.hcphes.org. For Galveston County Mosquito Control, call 800-842-5622, or click on www.galvestoncountytx.gov/cs/mc/Pages/default.aspx
Many residents are concerned about the Zika virus. The Galveston County Health District provides updated information at http://www.gchd.org/press/2016/ZikaUpdates.html
Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services information is found at http://www.hcphes.org/publications/hcphes_responds/2016__zika_virus/
The Texas Department of State Health Services page is http://www.texaszika.org/
Residents can follow these tips to reduce their risk of mosquito borne diseases:
--When outdoors, use an insect repellent containing the active ingredient DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 to reduce exposure to mosquito bites. Always apply as directed on the label. Do not allow young children to apply repellent to themselves; have an adult do it for them. For detailed information, click on http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/faq/repellent.html
--If possible, wear long-sleeved clothing and long pants when outdoors at dawn and dusk which are peak mosquito biting times.
--Place mosquito netting over infant carriers when you are outdoors with infants.
--Don’t feed the storm drains. Sweep up lawn clippings, leaves and tree limbs from sidewalks and driveways.
--Remove/empty containers that can hold water such as flowerpots, buckets, tires, toys and plastic swimming pools. Birdbaths and pet water bowls should be changed at least twice a week.
--Cover your boat or store in a covered place. Drain any standing water and make sure the bilge pump is working. Turn over canoes, kayaks and small boats to store upside down.
--Keep rain gutters clean and draining and repair any outdoor household leaks.
--When watering the lawn, be aware of any excess water that may accumulate. Fill in low areas around the yard.
--When mosquitoes are noticed in your yard, spray with an outdoor mosquito spray. Be sure to use according to directions on the label. To control mosquitoes in your house, use a “flying insect spray”. Be sure to use according to directions on the label.
--Household pets can be exposed to West Nile Virus (WNV). Contact your veterinarian for more information.