Amarillo Department of Environmental Health reduce, fight mosquitoes

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) — As summer continues, the risk of getting bitten by mosquitoes increases, and the city of Amarillo is fighting to reduce that risk.

Keeping mosquitoes under control is part of the job of Zachary Badrow, Environmental Health Specialist 3 with the City of Amarillo’s Environmental Health Department.

Badrow leads the department that performs mosquito control around Amarillo.

The department’s plan is to reduce the number of mosquitoes so residents don’t get sick.

“In their saliva they can transfer viruses,” Badrow said. “West Nile is one of the biggest in this area, which is the big threat. Besides just being a pest and biting you and itching, they can actually make you really sick.

Amarillo has areas that are the perfect environment for mosquitoes.

“We have a lot of areas that just hold water because of our heavy clay soil,” Badrow said. “So we don’t really have swamps, per se, but we do have areas that hold water very well.”

Clay soil traps moisture and is an ideal breeding ground for mosquito larvae.

The city has been spraying mosquitoes since April and will continue until August.

The department uses a four-tier system for spraying; larvicide, adulticide, structural and landscape management.

“June, July and August is when adult populations really tend to emerge,” Badrow said. “Anything that holds water can actually be an environment for mosquitoes. We just need to somehow reduce those numbers where they’re not a big nuisance and make people sick.

Lake Santa Fe, Amarillo Lakes, and the former Amarillo Air Force Base are prime spots for mosquitoes.

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