East Texas expert: More bugs than usual this summer

TYLER, Texas (KETK) - After a mild winter and now a wet spring, experts say East Texas is in for a buggy summer. Irregular weather patterns call for a higher volume and earlier appearance of insects.

"For us in particular in the south, southeast, southwest, one of the biggest concerns is the mosquito population," UT Health Northeast Occupational and Environmental Medicine Dr. Jeffrey Levin said.

Mosquitoes can carry West Nile and Zika viruses.

"There's a lot of concern that as eggs begin to hatch earlier and as we have a higher volume of mosquitoes we might actually begin to see quite a few more cases or pockets of cases here in the southern tier of the United States," Dr. Levin said.

He said these insects are attracted to water, so it's important to drain any standing water around your homes. Bug spray will also be an essential item for the summer.

"The best kinds of repellent typically contain DEET which is a pesticide in the repellent itself," Dr. Levin said.

He also said ticks can be a problem in East Texas.

"If you happen to be out in a heavily wooded area and you come back in you need to pay attention to seeing any ticks that may be present on the skin surface and ensure that they get removed properly," he said.

He said people do not need to live in fear, but they do need to be aware of health risks.

"The Department of State Health Services recently recommended that as we enter into the late spring and early summer months that women in Texas who are pregnant during first and second trimester go ahead and be tested for Zika," he said.

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