Take Care of Texas News: New PSAs, Rising Reservoirs, and Dealing with Mosquitoes

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Grammy Winner Rick Trevino Voices New PSAs

Rick Trevino

Rick Trevino has joined country music star Kevin Fowler as the voice of our summer radio and TV public service announcements. Trevino’s PSAs can be heard in both English and Spanish across Texas. Adding Rick Trevino’s Spanish-language announcements allows us to broaden our reach.

In light of of debuting our first Spanish PSA, we worked hard to expand and improve our Spanish website, CuideATexas.org to mirror our popular English site. We’re excited to announce the Take Care of Texas pledge is now available in Spanish, as well as the animated house, our online system for ordering FREE publications, and many other resources and tips for kids and adults to help protect the Texas environment.

Rising Reservoir Levels


For the first time since November 2010, the May 25 drought monitor showed the absence of extreme drought in Texas. As of June 1, Texas water supply reservoirs, which include reservoirs that provide water for all beneficial purposes such as power generation, recreation, and municipal water supply were 83.1 percent full. Just three months ago, they were only 65.8 percent full. Despite all of the heavy rain, reservoirs are still below normal for much of the western half of the state. Find out about the levels of the reservoirs in your area

The Take Care of Texas staff's thoughts remain with the families, communities, and businesses affected by the recent storms and flooding.

With All the Rain Come Mosquitoes

Flood-water mosquitoes lay eggs above the waterline in ditches, ponds, tanks, and other places where water collects. The eggs can remain in dry conditions for several months. After floods or heavy rains when the water level rises, the eggs hatch and in a few days produce swarms of aggressive and hungry mosquitoes. Another wave of mosquitoes occurs later, typically 10 to 14 days after the rains stop. These mosquitoes are a big nuisance but rarely cause illnesses. Other kinds of mosquitoes lay eggs on the standing water left by flooding or heavy rains. These mosquitoes may transmit viruses such as West Nile. On May 21, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced the state’s first case of West Nile virus this year.

Take the following steps to help cut down on the mosquito population: 

  • Empty or get rid of cans, buckets, bottles, old tires, empty pots, plant saucers, and other containers that hold water.
  • Keep gutters clear of debris and standing water. 
  • Change water in pet dishes at least once a day.
  • Maintain your backyard pool or hot tub and be sure someone takes care of it if you are out of town.
  • Cover trash containers so they will not collect water.
  • Repair any leaking plumbing and outside faucets. 
  • Screen rain barrels and openings to water tanks or cisterns. 

Which mosquito repellents work best?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend products containing active ingredients that have been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as repellents applied to skin and clothing.

Of the products registered with the EPA, those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon-eucalyptus, and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. Learn more.

Repellent Graphic

Coming in 2016! This graphic will appear on labels of skin-applied insect repellent to help consumers easily identify the repellency time for mosquitoes and ticks. The EPA will review products that apply to use the graphic to ensure that their scientific data meet current testing protocols and standard evaluation practices.


Free fishing

On June 6, you can fish without a license on any public waters in Texas. Find a fishing spot near you.

Watch new PSAs for a chance to WIN!

Hopefully you’ve already heard or seen Rick Trevino’s PSAs on your favorite station, but if not watch them now! Just for fun and the chance at winning a $50 H-E-B gift card, e-mail us the color of the fishing reel Rick uses in the PSA. One person who e-mails us the correct answer will be chosen at random to WIN! See contest rules.

English PSA

Spanish PSA


2016 Art Contest Dates Announced

We are excited to announce that Samsung Austin Semiconductor has graciously agreed to sponsor the 2016 How Do You Take Care of Texas? elementary school art contest. The contest will begin January 4, 2016; entries must be postmarked on or before March 2, 2016.


Please subscribe to receive notices when we post new art contest updates including rules, entry forms, and winners.


Keep kids busy this Summer!

Kids materials

Parents, it may be summer but let's keep your kiddos learning about ways they can help protect the Texas environment. Our website and publications use mascots River and Sky—both Texas Blue Lacys, the official state dog of Texas—to teach kids how to make smart choices. They can play animated games, order FREE activity books and posters, watch videos, and check out cool links.


Available Now! New Energy Star-Certified Dryers


Now, for the first time, you can purchase an ENERGY STAR- certified clothes dryer. Clothes washers have seen a 70 percent drop in energy use since 1990 but, until now, dryers have largely remained inefficient. Dryers that have earned the ENERGY STAR use 20 percent less energy and deliver $245 in lifetime savings. 

Save even more:

  • Use a low heat setting to use less energy.
  • Use the moisture-sensor option to avoid over-drying clothes.
  • Don't overstuff the dryer, causing longer drying cycles.

Featured Homegrown Hero 



One hundred and ten years after the opening of a little grocery store in Kerrville, H-E-B has established itself as one of the largest privately held companies in Texas. With stores from Laredo to Houston and McAllen to Waxahachie, its strategies for conservation and environmental stewardship can have an impact on nearly all corners of the state. Watch H-E-B's Texas Environmental Excellence Award's video


Stop by the Take Care of Texas booth at these upcoming conferences:


Texas 4-H Roundup, June 9 - 11, College Station

Keep Texas Beautiful, June 15 - 17, Fort Worth

Association of Water Board Directors Texas, June 18 - 20, Corpus Christi