San Antonio homeowner gets help to prevent West Nile Virus

Pest defense expert gives tips for yard, how to decreases mosquito population

Published On: Aug 30 2012 03:39:20 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 20 2012 09:15:42 PM CDT
West Nile mosquito

Homeowners with growing concerns about West Nile Virus are seeking professional help to eradicate mosquito populations.

Kirk Thompson knew she had a serious mosquito problem in her back yard but she wasn’t sure what to do about it.

After hearing about more than 10 deaths from the virus in North Texas, Thompson began dousing her son daily with bug spray. Then, she started to worry about overexposing him to chemicals, and finally called a professional for help.

“I was really surprised all the things going on here. We're very careful. I thought we were really on top of it,” said Thompson.

Frank Adam, with Home Team Pest Defense, said Thompson had neglected to address areas with standing water that seemed harmless but could allow mosquitoes to breed, adding to her existing problems.

“The most common mistake I see in going around houses is people don't take the time to look at the environment around their house and take the corrective measures,” said Adam.

Adam alerted Thompson to organisms growing in a bird feeder, an untended water dish for her dog, even the lid of a bucket standing in the shade. Dirty gutters provided areas of shade and moisture that could also breed mosquitoes.

In addition to eliminating standing water around the home, Adam said insecticide applied directly to heavy shrubs, where mosquitoes hide from the sun during the day, would eradicate adult mosquitoes on the property.

Insecticide is only a temporary fix, Adam said, but could keep the yard mosquito free for as long as a month.

For Thompson, addressing the problems gives her peace of mind.

“It's gonna be cooling off a little bit, and it's gonna be great to be able to sit back here and not be constantly thinking about it,” said Thompson.