This year has been a rough one for many residents of Texas. The several hurricanes that struck the Gulf Coast this year have caused extensive damage to infrastructure. This is especially problematic in large densely populated cities like Houston. Homeowners will now have to deal with their insurance companies, which will be an entirely new challenge to face now that the violent hurricanes have ended. The 2017 hurricanes have been so damaging that new storm-related problems will likely show up every day for a long time in southern Texas. The full extent of hurricane damage in Texas has not yet been understood, and this includes the dangers posed by mosquitoes.
As a result of all of the flooding in Houston, mosquito populations have exploded. Wherever there is water you will find mosquitoes laying eggs. Luckily, very few of the mosquitoes that are currently overpopulating the Houston area can cause health problems for Houston residents. According to Sonja Swiger of Texas A&M, floodwater mosquitoes don’t carry diseases. The current abundance of mosquitoes may be an annoying nuisance to many residents of Houston, but at least most of these mosquitoes are free of disease. However, this will not last for long, as soon diseased mosquitoes will once again become prevalent in the Houston area.
According to Charles Allen, another insect expert with Texas A&M, not only are floodwater mosquitoes free of disease, but the initial influx of mosquitoes may be a good thing for public health. This is because the abundance of mosquitoes will prompt people to remain indoors. With more people indoors, disease-carrying mosquitoes will not have as many opportunities to spread disease once they do arrive. Even when people do eventually venture outdoors, the heavy post-flood mosquito presence will serve as a reminder to people to take preventative measures against mosquito bites. The initial mosquito swarms will be so annoying that many residents will never forget to leave home without their mosquito repellent again.