DUNCANVILLE—Each year, as the summer comes to a close, the threat of mosquito borne viruses increases. As the threat looms, area governments take action to combat a potentially dangerous epidemic. The City of Duncanville renewed its contract with the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department for the Mosquito Ground Spraying during their last City Council meeting.
The City of Duncanville has contracted with Dallas County for mosquito control services for several years. The new contract is effective from October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017 at a rate of $185 per hour.
The last mosquito spraying in Duncanville, August 17 and 19, was in response to a positive West Nile Virus mosquito trap. The area treated was the northeast Wheatland Road and Highway 67 to Main Street and Highway 67.
Duncanville isn’t the only southern Dallas County city affected by West Nile infected mosquitoes. Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) officials also recently reported confirmed positive mosquito traps collected from DeSoto, Lancaster and Hutchins.
“We spray areas when a trap is positive for West Nile Virus,” Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director said. “Spraying is not scheduled until or if we have a positive trap, so we won’t know if spraying will occur until we receive test results each week.”
Dallas County Health and Human Services traps and tests for the West Nile Virus (WNV) every week during mosquito season from April through October, explained Thompson.
The spray kills mosquitoes when it is sprayed at night, normally during the hours of 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Thompson explained the chemicals rapidly begin to break down in the sunlight the next day. “If citizens are concerned, they can remain inside during the application and the spray will dissipate from the air within a few minutes,” he said.
West Nile Virus is primarily a bird disease, but Thompson said, “When we start finding mosquitoes with West Nile Virus, there are already birds that are being infected via mosquito bites. Mosquitoes can transmit West Nile Virus to people after biting an infected bird.”
Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Health warns that the mosquito-borne Zika virus could extend its reach across the Gulf Coast. Last week officials confirmed Zika is active in the popular tourist destination of Miami Beach. He added the first case of the Zika virus has been found as far north as South Dakota.
D-fend Against West Nile Virus:
Drain, Dress & wear DEET. DCHHS urges the public to defend yourself against West Nile virus:
Drain: Get rid of ALL standing water. Empty, remove, cover or turn upside down any containers that will hold standing water (bottles, cans, tires, buckets, flower pots, etc.) Change water in pet dishes, wading pools and birdbaths several times a week. Cover trash containers so they will not collect water.
Dress: Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing to avoid mosquito bites when outside.
Deet: Use insect repellent products with “DEET” or other FDA approved repellents and follow product instructions.
Upcoming mosquito spraying in the area and past treatments can be found at http://www.dallas.leateamapps.com/PublicMap/.