Hurricane Harvey might be a thing of the past, but the devastation it wrought still remains. Now, a new, somewhat unexpected problem is springing up for those who were in the storm’s path, and it’s pretty gross. Houston, one of the hardest-hit areas, is now left to deal with an exploding population of mosquitos thanks to the incredible amount of standing water the storm left behind.
Everything from sand boxes to gardening pails were filled with water when Hurricane Harvey made its way inland, and as the city begins to repair and rebuild from the powerful storm, that water is becoming a haven for mosquitos. Officials in Houston are asking residents to clear any standing water they can, which means dumping out buckets, pails, and even discarded tires — anything that might be holding water.
“A lot of pockets of water will be formed,” Mustapha Debboun, Director of the Mosquito Control Division of the Harris County Health Department, explained to Fox News. “As the water recedes from the floods there will be a lot of formation of pockets and pools of water where mosquitos will find to breed. More habitats will be available for them.”
The mosquitos aren’t just a nuisance, they can also spread West Nile Virus and other diseases, and the last thing the city of Houston needs right now is a bug-borne public health crisis. Even with the warning, it’s impossible to clear all the new mosquito breeding grounds in time, and the population of the bugs in Houston is expected to spike in the coming weeks.