UPDATED: Wednesday, August 8, 2012 - 2:29pm
COLLEGE STATION -- You hear about people getting the West Nile Virus and think, 'That'll never happen to me,' but it can and it is all over the state.
In fact there are more cases here in Texas than anywhere else and West Nile Virus is now being called an epidemic.
So Lauren Holman reports on what you can do to make sure your backyard doesn't become a mosquito haven.
Compared to last year, this summer has been unusually wet.
And while the rain has been a welcome site in the Brazos Valley, it's also created the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
"It's all the standing water and even in the areas where you may have lots of greenery or foliage such as brush and bush or greenbelts near your home," said College Station neighborhood services coordinator, Barbara Moore.
With two confirmed human cases of West Nile in Brazos County in one week and the possibility for more in the future the city of College Station wants you to take advantage of a program they say many don't even realize exists, the mosquito abatement program.
"The city allows the neighborhoods to purchase the dunks from a vendor and they bring us the receipts and then we'll reimburse them for up to $200.00 a year," Moore said.
The mosquito dunks are small "chalk like" donuts that you place in standing, stagnant water like a bird bath or a pond.
Dissolving over time, the dunks kill the mosquito larvae before they ever hatch.
Moore said, "Once they get a chance to breed and become adults that's the point we begin to feel them on our skin."
Rebreva Ofcharzak, owner of America's Country Store, says the mosquito dunks are a much safer option to use than sprays or pesticides.
"It's not going to harm your household pets," said Ofcharzak. "You can put it in livestock tanks and it won't hurt the animals if they drink out of it."
One dunk can cover the surface area of around 100 square feet and last about 30 days, an easy and inexpensive option to control your immediate surroundings.