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Irving Continues Aggressive West Nile Watch

BY IRVING WEEKLY STAFF

Irving, Texas. September 14, 2012

Through ongoing ground-spraying and specimen sampling, the City of Irving continues with its aggressive action plan to control the mosquito population and reduce the presence of the West Nile Virus (WNV). The City of Irving possesses a full supply of spray and more than enough larvicide products to adequately address one of the most intense mosquito seasons experienced throughout Texas in decades.
 
Well before WNV was all the buzz, and prior to the issuance of a health advisory from Dallas County noting a “severe seasonal outbreak,” vector control team members in Irving already planned for an unusually active year.

As part of the city’s normal course of action, vector control technicians deployed traps across the city for sampling purposes in early spring.

“After careful review of the data collected, ground level-spraying was determined to be the best course of action to begin addressing Irving’s isolated high-risk areas,” said Walter Ritchie, vector control manager. 
 
To Spray or Not to Spray
City staff researched the viability of aerial spraying. The available data indicated that the WNV outbreak was not as widespread in Irving as in neighboring cities; and that the Trinity River, Campión Trail and the River Bottoms were the local areas of concern.
 
Prevailing guidelines require the city to have a minimum of 5,000 acres of land needing treatment to spray aerially. Irving’s treatment needs at the time of discussion did not meet the established threshold. Accordingly, the city continued heavy truck spraying in areas of concern while testing mosquito samples.

“Our vector control team has taken a proactive approach to this issue and they’ve attacked it head on,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. “Vector control technicians are doing whatever it takes to protect the health and welfare of the Irving community.”
 
As part of the city’s public education campaign, residents were encouraged to reduce personal risks by being mindful of the “Four D’s”.

  • Dusk/Dawn – Stay indoors at dusk/dawn when mosquitoes are most active
  • Dress – Light-colored, long-sleeves and pants are encouraged if going outdoors during this time
  • DEET – Use insect repellents that have DEET listed as an active ingredient
  • Drain – Standing, stagnant water sometimes found in bird baths, old tires and rain gutters are perfect mosquito breeding grounds

“Residents should know that their health and safety is our highest priority during mosquito season and all year long—my family lives in Irving, so resident concerns and fears about the West Nile Virus, as well as aerial spraying are very real and hit home with all of us,” added Gonzalez. “That’s why we want to make sure our residents know that we’ll keep up our aggressive spraying efforts and to call us if they feel that their neighborhood needs additional spraying.”

Residents are asked to help identify stagnant water locations by calling the mosquito hotline at (972) 721-3755.



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