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North Texas spring rain brings back mosquitoes and West Nile Virus

Mosquitoes are back in North Texas and so is West Nile
Mosquitoes are back in North Texas and so is West Nile 03:03

NORTH TEXAS — With the relentless stretch of spring rain, North Texans might not have gotten outside long enough to notice, but it's mosquito season.  And they're back with a vengeance. 

"They're really bad," shares Dallas mom Lindsay Howard. "And I think it mostly has to do with the creek down there," she says, gesturing down the street.  

When mosquitoes return, the West Nile threat is not far behind. 

The City of Arlington will spray again Wednesday night after a mosquito pool tested positive for the virus. Crews will spray near Douglas Court and North Cooper Street beginning Wednesday at 9:00 pm.  

It's the first sample in the area to test positive for the West Nile virus this season.  But experts say with all of the rain we've been having, they will get worse. 

"We tried all the natural stuff: we tried the bands, we tried the spray that doesn't have DEET in it. We tried landscaping.  And my kids couldn't come outside without just getting eaten alive," explains Howard. 

So when she admitted that the mosquitoes had the upper hand, she called in reinforcements, hiring a professional company to treat her yard. 

"I've gone in the yards and they have 20, 30 tiki torches and it's so smoky you can't hardly breathe," explains Michael Sites. "And they were really hoping that was going to do it. And that doesn't do it. So breathe. Call us." 

Sites owns a Mosquito Joe franchise in Dallas.  He says there are things customers can do own their own to help:  like clearing leaves, storm drains and standing water.  But remember: mosquitos only need a bottle cap of water to breed. 

"In that little cap on a water bottle. They can lay 300 eggs!" explains Sites.  

"So if you have an outside faucet, that's dripping, you can have hundreds of mosquitoes in that area. When you water your flowers and you have mulch around your flowers, those mosquitoes will go down several inches in the mulch to get that water, lay their eggs." 

And while you might be able to police your own yard, there's nothing you can do about a neighbor's yard or standing water nearby. Still, the experts warn that more is not always better. 

"A lot of people want to go buy a gallon of this or a gallon of that, and then they over-treat their yard. But they don't treat it properly. They don't get the results that we would get," explains Sites.  

If considering hiring a professional, he says it's important to check reviews.  He also says to ask questions about how the treatments will impact beneficial insects. 

"We are very concerned about pollinators, butterflies, bees, and ladybugs," explains Sites. "We want to keep those around. And we have a program that we're very careful. And we also have options for all-natural or botanical products, which is a mixture of essential oils, and it can be very effective and it can get the job done by a professional who knows what they're doing." 

As for Howard, she says the Texas heat is bad enough. She's done swatting mosquitoes and is relieved that her boys can now enjoy being outdoors. 

"I want my kids to be able to come outside and shoot the basketball and play on the swing and not come in covered in welts," said Howard. 

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