UPDATE September 12, 2013: Spraying will begin at approximately 9:00p.m. and continue for several hours. Residents in the affected area are encouraged to take the proper precautions listed below during this time. For frequently asked questions about ground spraying, click here.
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 700 Greymoor Place which is located south of Rockenbaugh Elementary School. The City has made the decision to ground spray, using Permanonea, in a ½ mile radius around where the sample was found (see map below). Ground spraying will take place Thursday night (9/12) in accordance with the City’s West Nile Virus Action Plan.
“While this is Southlake’s first positive test this year, we feel that it’s important to take action quickly to help eliminate future positive tests,” said Public Works Director Bob Price. “In the meantime, people who live in the area are encouraged to protect themselves and their families, by using bug spray every time you go outdoors and staying indoors during the dusk and dawn hours.”
During spraying people are encouraged to follow these precautions:
Once spraying is complete, city staff will continue to inspect and if needed treat public property for mosquitoes. Mosquito samples will also continue to be taken in specified locations and then will be sent to Tarrant County for testing. Southlake residents are encouraged to remain vigilant on private property to help reduce the mosquito population.
Price reminds everyone to Fight the Bite. 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 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. Finally, don’t forget to use insect repellent whenever you are outside where mosquitoes may be present.
For more information on what Southlake is doing in the area of mosquito surveillance and control, please see CityofSouthlake.com/WestNileVirus.
Although it’s been a cool spring, mosquitoes are already making their presence known in Southlake. Traps that have been set by City of Southlake staff have yielded dozens of mosquitoes, but only test results will tell if the mosquitoes carry the West Nile Virus.
“After last summer’s unprecedented outbreak, the City reached out to the health departments of both Tarrant and Denton counties so we could prepare for this summer’s West Nile Virus season,” said Emergency Management Coordinator Kyle Taylor. “We have also developed a tiered response that is based upon the amount of mosquitoes that we are finding in our traps, the results of West Nile Virus testing and any confirmed human cases of the disease.”
Last summer, Texas was at the epicenter of the worst West Nile Virus outbreak in years. Southlake saw eight confirmed cases of West Nile Virus. This summer the City is encouraging residents to take personal responsibility to Fight the Bite.
“What many people don’t know is that backyards are the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes,” said Environmental Coordinator Christi Upton. “Any area that holds little more than a teaspoon of undisturbed water for a couple of days can become a breeding ground for the type of mosquitoes most responsible for spreading this virus.”
Upton urges residents to get rid of these mosquito hot zones and get rid of standing water where you can. Close containers, empty what you can’t frequently, or treat areas you can not drain with a larvacide. She added that the City is checking and testing public property areas of standing water, treating with a larvacide and placing briquettes when appropriate.
The City is making biological mosquito larvicide available to residents for private property use. These briquettes treat standing water by releasing a larvicide that kills larvae for a period of 30 days. The briquettes are available at the following locations Public Works Operations, 1950 E. Continental Boulevard Monday – Friday, 7:30 am to 4:30 pm.
The City has created a website page www.CityofSouthlake.com/FightTheBite to aid residents and businesses. It answers frequently asked questions and details the City’s Action Plan for the summer.
“The website also provides a way for people to report a mosquito problem if they see it, said Taylor.” “Just fill out the “Mosquito Problem” form and the City will follow up on your request.”