Harris County Public Health announces mosquito spray operation due to potential health risks

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Post-Hurricane Harvey has caused increasing numbers of mosquitoes, imposing risks to recovery efforts and health concerns.

In an attempt to lower these risks, Harris County Public Health is partnering with the Texas Department of State Health  Services and the U.S. Air Force Reserve to conduct an aerial spray operation in Harris County.

The U.S. Air Force Reserve’s 910th Airlift Wing will fly out of Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio to conduct an aerial spray operation on Thursday, Sept. 14. They plan to spray approximately 600,000 acres by air.

According to Dr. Umair A. Shah, Executive Director of Harris County Public Health, “The goal is to reduce the effects mosquitoes are having on recovery efforts and the possibility of a future increase in mosquito-borne disease.”

The insecticide dibrom, EPA-approved, is routinely used for aerial spray operations to combat mosquito-borne disease and will be used during the spray operation. According to HCPH, dibrom is considered safe for the environment and is applied by licensed applicators.

If Harris County residents are concerned about exposure during the aerial spray operation, HCPH recommends individuals to stay indoors as a precaution.

Beekeepers are advised to cover their colonies to prevent bees from exiting during treatment.