West Nile Virus
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The city monitors for West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases within our community as part of the Tarrant County Mosquito Surveillance Program. During the months of April through October, mosquitoes are collected and submitted to the Tarrant County Public Health to test for West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.
One resident who lives in the northern sector of our city has tested positive for WNV this year. Nine mosquito samples have tested positive. The positive samples were trapped in Northfield Park, Walker's Creek Park, Cross Timbers Park, 7200 block of Dick Fisher Drive, 6400 Block of Onyx Drive North.
Mosquito Control Efforts
The city proactively works to reduce the mosquito population by treating creeks, ponds, drainage channels and other public spaces with larvicide and Gambusia minnows that feed on mosquito larvae. The use of larvicide and minnows have proven to be an effective method for treating mosquito-prone areas, without causing harmful effects to people.
The Neighborhood Services Department also works with residents to identify and eliminate mosquito-breeding sites on private property.
In areas where West Nile Virus is detected, the city may utilize ground level spraying to help reduce the mosquito population. The spraying is done by licensed professionals using pesticide that is EPA-approved as being safe for humans and the environment. Residents will be notified about spraying via the city's website and CodeRED.
While public spraying can reduce the number of mosquitoes in a given area, the results are only temporary. Health officials concur that the reduction, elimination, or treatment of mosquito breeding areas is the best technique for mosquito control.
Help Swat Down Mosquitoes & West Nile Virus
Controlling mosquito populations and reducing the risk for West Nile virus must be done on several fronts and requires action from all citizens in order to be successful. During mosquito season, the city strongly recommends that all residents take the following preventative measures:
- DRAIN standing water in your yard and neighborhood to eliminate mosquito breeding sites. Place larvicide (also called mosquito briquettes or mosquito dunks) in standing water that can't be drained. Larvicide can be purchased at North Richland Hills home and garden stores.
- DUSK/DAWN are the times of day you should stay indoors. This is the time of day when the type of mosquitoes that can carry West Nile Virus are most active.
- DRESS in long-sleeved shirts and pants when you are outside. Spray clothing with insect repellent.
- DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) is an ingredient to look for in your insect repellent. Other effective EPA-registered repellents include Picaridin (KBR 3023) or oil of lemon eucalyptus [active
ingredient: p-menthane 3,8-diol (PMD)]. (See Using Repellent Safely)
Properly maintaining your landscaping can also help reduce the number of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes go to cooler, humid, shady areas in your yard during the daytime to rest and escape hot dry summer air. Thinning shrubs and cutting down tall grass and weeds will reduce the harborage areas and number of mosquitoes in your yard.
Take a safari through your backyard to find mosquito breeding sites in this interactive link from Texas A&M Agrilife Extension:http://mosquitosafari.tamu.edu/index.swf
Who to Call
To report standing water on public property, Please contact Public Works at 817-427-6460.
If your neighbor has high grass, a stagnant swimming pool, or junk and debris on his property that may be a breeding site for mosquitoes, please contact Neighborhood Services Code Compliance staff at 817-427-6663.
Additional questions on how to prevent West Nile Virus may be directed to the Neighborhood Services Department at 817-427-6650.
Remember, mosquito control is everyone's responsibility!