HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Concerns over the Zika virus are escalating. As of April 27, more than 400 travel-associated cases of Zika had been reported in the U.S., with three in Mississippi. Steps are being taken to keep you and your family as safe as possible from the mosquito-borne virus.
For many, seeing a white cloud trailing a pickup truck and hearing the familiar buzzing of the spray only means one thing; death to mosquitoes.
The destruction of the blood sucking insects is a goal for the folks at Harrison County Mosquito Control. The Zika virus is just one of the reasons why.
Experts say the virus is spread through a particular breed of mosquito called the Aedes aegypti. Mosquito control director Raymond Cuevas is on the hunt.
"We know how to catch them. If they're here, we will find them," said Cuevas.
The main hunting tactic? Traps. Cuevas said this particular breed of mosquito is attracted to black light.
Mosquito control will set up traps fitted with a black light, fan and a net in various areas throughout the county looking for the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Recently, none have been found in the State of Mississippi. According to Cuevas, the last one was found in the late 1980s, but he and his team have increased their efforts to find the breed since the Zika virus has become a concern.
Until then, mosquito control continues to spray areas that are in need, due to finding large populations, breeding grounds and even people calling in with word of a mosquito problem.
Cuevas said the spray may not be as affective on the Aedes aegypti.
"They stay close to homes, up under homes, up under buildings, in vegetation, under vegetation more than most mosquitoes," said Cuevas.
According to Cuevas, it's up to the public to take additional action that will leave the container breeders homeless.
"Get rid of any standing water. Any breeding sites around the house. Containers, puddles of water, anything that will hold water," said Cuevas.
Cuevas believes that it's best to be ahead of the curve and stay informed when it comes to a mosquito-borne virus.
Another important step against mosquitoes is repellent. Cuevas said the more DEET, the better.