What is in this article?:
- Spring weather brings mosquitoes, other problems to drought-stricken Texas
- Weather and non-weather events can be a problem
- Efforts to reduce insect problems
- Spring and summer showers often come with a downside.
- Beneficial rain can also bring pain.
- Crop damage, insects come with heavy rain.
Weather and non-weather events can be a problem
Let's not forget about hail that beat up spinach crops in the Texas Winter Garden, floods in sorghum fields around Houston, and freeze damage to Texas Hill Country peaches and berries. On the other side of the coin, abnormally wet and warm weather has helped many East Texas farmers get a good jump on forage crops and rice fields.
In addition to the types of damage and destruction you might expect from extreme weather events, auxiliary problems often follow. For example, South Texas public health officials are warning residents of the Rio Grande Valley that following excessive rains in late April, mosquito problems are on the rise. To make the problems worse, public health officials just across the border from the Valley are warning residents there of heightened concerns over a rash of confirmed Dengue Fever cases, many of them in Matamoros, across the river from Brownsville, Texas, and Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas.
Dengue Fever infection is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. As many as 100 million people are infected globally every year. Dengue is caused by any one of four related viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. There are no vaccines to prevent infection. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the most effective protective measures are those that avoid mosquito bites. If infected, early recognition and prompt supportive treatment can substantially lower the risk of developing a severe case of the disease.
While no Dengue Fever cases have been confirmed in South Texas this year, officials warn that as a result of escalating mosquito populations, Valley residents need to be concerned over possible West Nile Virus (WNV) cases. Last year Texas reported 89 confirmed WNV cases.
West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne illness. Up to 80 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will have no symptoms and will recover on their own; however, some cases can cause serious illness or death. People over 50 and those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of becoming ill if they become infected with the virus.