Texas Has Called in the Air Force to Fight Post-Flood Mosquitoes


The U.S. Air Force has deployed an aircraft unit to Texas tackle swarms of mosquitos that have proliferated in coastal regions after Hurricane Harvey caused severe flooding.

Reuters reports that U.S. Air Force C-130 cargo planes had sprayed insecticides over an area amounting to about 1.85 million acres across three eastern Texas counties. Insecticide spraying trucks have also been dispatched nightly in afflicted areas of Harris County — which encompasses Houston — since Sept. 4.

According to Reuters, the Air Force program will be extended further across Texas to lower the risk of waterborne diseases such as the West Nile and Zika viruses, which can be transmitted through mosquito bites. C-130s were similarly used to control mosquito populations the wake of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav.

Although few of the post-flood mosquitos are the disease-carrying variety, swarms of them can still inhibit relief efforts, local health officials say. Residents in affected areas have reportedly been advised to throw away standing water, use repellent, and cover exposed skin.

Read more: What It Was Like to Live Through Hurricane Irma

Besides aerial spray missions in Texas, Reserve Citizen Airmen are also involved in separate weather reconnaissance and airborne firefighting missions in storm-affected …read more

Source:: Time – Science

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