Friday, June 18, 2021

Fight the Bite: Fight Mosquito Bites with the Four Ds

Few animals on Earth evoke the aggravation that mosquitoes do. Their itchy, irritating bites and bothersome presence can ruin a backyard barbecue or a hike in the woods. They have an uncanny ability to sense our intent, taking flight and disappearing milliseconds before a fatal swat.

The months of April through November are prime months for mosquito breeding and nuisance biting. The City of Southlake Office of Emergency Management and the Tarrant County Health department conduct vector control measures to test for diseased species and conduct ground spraying on public property. With that being said, the best weapon for protection against mosquitoes is personal responsibility.

The American Mosquito Control Association suggests understanding and following the four Ds to help protect yourself from mosquitoes:

  • Drain: Mosquito problems originate from water-filled containers or areas of standing water, as immature mosquitoes require water to develop. Eliminate standing water whenever possible in places such as buckets, gutters, pet water dishes, tree holes, abandoned swimming pools or tires, and other areas capable of breeding mosquitoes.
  • DUSK/DAWN: Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. The mosquito that carries the Zika Virus is active during the daytime hours, so be sure to protect yourself at all times.
  • Dress: Close to 200 mosquito species in the United States are more attracted to dark clothing and can easily bite through tight-fitting garments. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing to avoid mosquito bites. Long sleeves and pants will provide the most protection.
  • Defend: Use a mosquito repellent that has been registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and apply according to the label directions.

So City of Southlake, let’s take on the challenge to fight the bite by taking the necessary steps to help prevent mosquito bites for you and your family. Please contact the Office of Emergency Management at 817-748-8624 or 817-748-8903.

Fight the Bite Graphic

City to Spray After WNV Positive Sample at Meadowlark Lane

The City of Southlake has received notice from Tarrant County Public Health that one mosquito trap in Southlake has tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The positive West Nile Virus trap is located in the 100 block of Meadowlark Lane. The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) does not believe the pond is the location of mosquito breeding as it is stocked with fish which eat mosquito larvae. The location is in an area behind the body of water.

The City will begin spraying within the half-mile radius from the trap location. Spraying will begin on Thursday night, October 12, and continue through Saturday night, October 14, weather permitting. Additionally, OEM will set out another trap at this location today (October 11) to monitor the situation. The chemicals in the spray are specifically designed to target mosquitos with a quick burn-off in sunlight to mitigate any pet health concerns.

Fire Chief Mike Starr who also oversees emergency management services, asks residents to continue taking protective measures to help reduce the mosquito population including:

  • Drain standing water in artificial containers; this is the primary source of mosquitoes
  • Dress in long sleeves
  • Wear insect repellent containing DEET

For more information about West Nile Virus, personal protective measures, or response actions, please visit CityofSouthlake.com or MySouthlakeNews.com. And as always, if you have any mosquito concerns, please reach out to our environmental and emergency management coordinator Eric Hutmacher at (817) 748-8624 or email him at ehutmacher@ci.southlake.tx.us.

 

Southlake Responds to Mosquito Virus Threat

Tarrant County Public Health has recommended that the City of Southlake activate our Mosquito Response Plan after receiving news of a suspected case of a mosquito-borne disease in a Southlake resident, in addition to finding an abundance of mosquitoes that transmit this virus.

“We were informed that a Southlake resident has traveled to a country that has active cases of Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya, and we have been working with Tarrant County Public Health to determine the best course of action,” said Environmental Coordinator Christi Upton.

MSNMosquito

Southlake’s Response

In accordance with the City’s Mosquito Response Plan, the City intends to spray within a 200-meter radius of the affected areas in the southern part of the City. Per the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and to protect the privacy of our residents, Southlake is unable to provide any additional details on the location.

Different mosquito species carry different diseases and have different characteristics. The mosquito that carries the Zika and Chikungunya viruses has a short flight range and is typically a day-biter. Because of the mosquito’s short flight range, the City will perform targeted spraying in the immediate vicinity of the suspected case.

How you can Protect Yourself

Personal protection is the first defense in protecting against the spread of all mosquito borne viruses. The community is encouraged to take action to prevent mosquito bites in the following ways:

  • The best way to prevent bites is to prevent mosquito breeding by eliminating standing water.
    • Mosquitoes prefer container water such as flower pots, bird baths, buckets, French drains, gutters, and water storage containers.
    • Eliminate these sources or vigilantly dump possible sources.
    • Where dumping or eliminating the water is not possible consider treating the water with mosquito dunks which are available at most home improvement stores.
  • Consistently wear insect repellant with DEET.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants.
  • If you are pregnant or concerned about becoming pregnant, please consult your primary healthcare physician for your unique situation.

Additional Information and Questions

For questions about the Zika virus, please call the Tarrant County Public Health Zika hotline at 817-248-6299.

For more information on what Southlake is doing in the area of mosquito surveillance and control, please visit our dedicated mosquito response pages at: CityofSouthlake.com/MosquitoResponse

Important Information Regarding Zika Virus

You may have heard a lot about Zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease, recently featured in the news.  On February 1, 2016 the World Health Organization called it a public health emergency.

The City of Southlake has made preparations for this new threat by updating our mosquito response plan which accounts for all arbovirus threats. While there is not a test for the Zika virus at this time, we can sample for the Aedes mosquito to look for population spikes that indicate a nearby breeding source to be treated or removed.

It is important to note that the Aedes mosquito prefers artificial breeding sources such as standing water which is typically found in French drains and gutters; natural habitats such as creeks and ponds have natural predators to mosquito larvae that balance the mosquito population. In addition to updating the Mosquito Response Plan, the City of Southlake will acquire a total of three mosquito traps that specifically target the Aedes mosquito. These traps will be strategically placed throughout the City to look for population spikes in the Aedes mosquito population.

“City of Southlake staff members are aware of the concerns shared by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. We are following developments of this disease closely with our partners, including  Tarrant County Public Health, to ensure the City of Southlake is ready to respond, if needed,” says Ben Williamson, Southlake Emergency Management Coordinator.

Only 1 in 5 people infected with the Zika virus will become ill which is characterized by fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis; the Zika virus has been linked to the more serious condition of Microcephaly in pregnancy which is defined as an abnormal smallness of the head associated with incomplete brain development. The Zika virus made a serious foothold in South American countries recently during the southern hemisphere summer months and has begun the potential to spread in North Texas. The yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) transmit the virus from person to person, and are an aggressive day biters. These mosquitos are found locally in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including Southlake, and also spread dengue fever, chikungunya, and yellow fever.

No locally acquired cases have been detected in the United States, but, because mosquitoes are dormant right now the risk of locally acquiring this disease is very low. However, as the temperatures begin to rise and mosquitoes begin to emerge this spring you are encouraged to remain vigilant. It is especially important for women who are pregnant (any trimester) or who may become pregnant in the near future to avoid mosquito bites. There are still many unknowns with this virus, but the CDC has indicated:

  • Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women who do travel to one of these areas should talk to their doctor or other healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.
  • Women trying to become pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.

The CDC does not know the risk to the infant if a woman is infected with Zika virus while she is pregnant.  “The challenge for specialists is that the disease is not detected in mosquitoes first. Per Southlake’s Mosquito Response Plan, developed in conjunction with Tarrant County Health Department, the first indication will be the detection of the disease in a local person” says Christi Upton, Environmental Coordinator for the City of Southlake. “However, Aedes mosquito has a very short flight range, thus any necessary control measures will be focused.”

As warmer weather arrives in Southlake, the community is encouraged to take action to prevent mosquito bites:

    • It is important to remember the best way to prevent bites is to prevent mosquito breeding. Look for standing water. Aedes species prefer container water such as flower pots, bird baths, buckets and water storage containers. Eliminate these sources or vigilantly dump possible sources. Where dumping or eliminating the water is not possible consider treating the water with mosquito dunks.
    • Consistently wear insect repellant with DEET
    • Wear long sleeves and long pants.
    • Consult your healthcare provider if you have a concern about family planning or appropriate personal mosquito prevention measures for your unique situation.

Important Resources for Additional Information:

City to Spray After Positive Sample for West Nile Virus Found

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

The City of Southlake has been notified that a mosquito sample has tested positive for the West Nile Virus. The sample was taken from a trap at the 1400 block of Byron Nelson Parkway.

“Thank you to the residents of Southlake for your diligence in the continued fight against West Nile Virus,” says Fire Chief Mike Starr. “Though temperatures are cooling, mosquitos will remain active until low temperatures become consistent.”

Starr adds that residents should continue to take caution to protect themselves and their family by draining and treating standing water on their property. Also, to always wear insect repellent containing DEET when outdoors—especially at dusk and dawn.

The City intends to ground spray within a half-mile radius of the affected areas (see map(s) below) tomorrow night (10/23), Friday night (10/24), and Saturday night (10/25)—weather permitting.

For more information on what Southlake is doing in the area of mosquito surveillance and control, please see CityofSouthlake.com/WestNileVirus. To see an interactive map of positive samples in Tarrant County, click here.

1400 Block of Byron Nelson Parkway.

1400 Block of Byron Nelson Parkway.

Tarrant County Receives Second Award for Development of West Nile Virus Mapping Tool

tarrantcountyTarrant County has received the Center for Digital Government 2014 Achievement Award in the category of “Government-to-Citizen” communications for its West Nile Virus Mapping Tool.

“This tremendous honor is a reflection of our progressive information technology strategy to provide relevant, real-time information to the communities we serve,” said Tarrant County Deputy Chief Information Officer Christopher Nchopa-Ayafor. “We will continue to innovate and excel in digital government in a quest to become the best IT organization in state and local government.”

Tarrant County Information Technology Department’s Geographical Information System team collaborated with Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) to develop a West Nile Virus (WNV) application during the record-breaking WNV season of 2012.

The first phase of the project (Summer 2012) involved the development of an internal mapping site where staff can search for positive and negative mosquito traps – as well as positive human cases. Search criteria include date range, buffer distance, zip code, and city.

The second phase (Spring 2013) involved the development of a public site. Visitors can download statistical information based on demographics, see current and projected spray areas (aerial and ground), and read public announcements.

“Our West Nile Virus Mapping Tool is a user-friendly resource available to everyone in Tarrant County. It’s an easy way to stay updated on current WNV conditions and community announcements. The residents are the big winners with this tool. It’s one more way we are working to safeguard our community,” said TCPH Health Director Vinny Taneja

This summer, Tarrant County received an award for the mapping tool from the National Association of Counties.

Three More Samples for West Nile Found in Southlake

WNV 4DsThe City of Southlake was notified Wednesday (10/8/2014) that three mosquito samples have tested positive for the West Nile Virus. The samples were taken from traps at the 800 block of Shady Lane, the 100 block of Meadowlark Lane, and at the 700 block Ashleigh Lane.  A small portion of the Shady Lane spray zone is scheduled to take place in the 76051 zip code in Grapevine.

“We have seen recurring positive samples at these locations,” says Public Works Director Bob Price. “The City is following the West Nile Virus Action Plan to prevent positive samples, but we need the help of residents as well.”

Price adds that those residing outside of the half-mile spray radius should remain cautious, “We have six traps located strategically throughout the City—five that are stationary and one mobile. This means that when we see positive samples at these locations everyone in the area needs to be on alert.”

Price reminds everyone to look for sources of water in both the expected and unexpected places on a weekly basis and eliminate mosquito breeding grounds by draining standing water, covering outdoor containers, and treating undrainable areas with larvacide. Also, always wear insect repellent containing DEET when outdoors—especially at dusk and dawn.

The City intends to ground spray within a half-mile radius of the affected areas (see maps below) tomorrow night (10/9), Friday night (10/10), and Saturday night (10/11)—weather permitting.

For more information about the West Nile Virus Action Plan and what Southlake is doing in the area of mosquito surveillance and control, please see CityofSouthlake.com/WestNileVirus.

800 Block of Shady Lane.

800 Block of Shady Lane.

100 Block of Meadowlark Lane.

100 Block of Meadowlark Lane.

700 Block of Ashleigh Lane.

700 Block of Ashleigh Lane.

Two More Positive WNV Samples Found in Southlake

Mosquito Backyard

Click to enlarge.

The City of Southlake was notified Wednesday (9/24/2014) that two mosquito samples have tested positive for the West Nile Virus. The samples were taken from traps at 100 Meadowlark Lane and the 1700 block of Weeping Willow Way.

“We appreciate the help of residents reporting problem mosquito areas,” says Public Works Director Bob Price. “We use these reports to strategically place our roaming trap based on complaints and concerns.”

Price reminds everyone that the City needs your help to combat mosquito breeding on private property by to looking for sources of water in both the expected and unexpected places on a weekly basis and eliminate mosquito breeding grounds by draining standing water, covering outdoor containers, and treating stagnant water with larvicide.

The City intends to ground spray within a half-mile radius of the affected areas (see maps below) tomorrow night (9/25), Friday night (9/26), and Saturday night (9/27) in accordance with the City’s West Nile Virus Action Plan—weather permitting.

For more information on what Southlake is doing in the area of mosquito surveillance and control, please see CityofSouthlake.com/WestNileVirus.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

City Urges Residents to Help Fight WNV after Three More Positive Samples Found

Mosquito Backyard

Click to enlarge.

The City of Southlake was notified Wednesday (9/10/2014) that three mosquito samples have tested positive for the West Nile Virus. The samples were taken from traps at 2201 Shady Oaks Drive, 870 Shady Lane, and the 700 Block of Ashleigh Lane.

The City intends to ground spray within a half-mile radius of the affected areas (see maps below) for two consecutive nights beginning Friday (9/12/2014)—weather permitting.

“Weather forecasts are predicting thunderstorms through the end of the week, which will aide in flushing existing mosquito larvae,” said Public Works Director Bob Price.

Price adds, “The rain will provide new opportunities for standing water. Following the rain, residents are strongly encouraged to thoroughly inspect their backyards and treat any standing water with larvacide.”

Anything that can hold water for just a few days can become a mosquito breeding ground. Be sure to check your property for standing water. In addition to checking small containers, house gutters and French drains, staff encourages you to check for unexpected areas such as your water meter box, any tree holes, blocked irrigation heads, gutter drains and other underground pipes, pool overflow pipes, storm drains for the presence of standing water.

Residents should always remember to wear insect repellent containing DEET when outdoors, especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

For more information on what Southlake is doing in the area of mosquito surveillance and control, please see CityofSouthlake.com/WestNileVirus.

Half mile radius of 870 Shady Lane.

Half mile radius of 870 Shady Lane.

Half mile radius of  2201 Shady Oaks.

Half mile radius of 2201 Shady Oaks Drive.

Half mile radius of the 700 block of Ashleigh Lane.

Half mile radius of the 700 block of Ashleigh Lane.