No buzz about it, city ahead of the curve in West Nile prevention

Posted Tuesday, Jun. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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With the “buzz” of the West Nile Virus being bantered about the Metroplex, the City of Weatherford was ahead of the curve when they implemented a Mosquito Surveillance and Response plan earlier this year, according to Angel Rudolph, Consumer Health Inspector for the City of Weatherford.

“It’s a comprehensive plan aimed at reducing the risk of mosquito-borne human diseases,” Rudolph said. “The main goal of the plan is to decrease the number of adult mosquitoes by eliminating breeding sites wherever possible.”

She said the city's mosquito responses and control measures will be based on the likelihood of threat to human health from West Nile virus or other mosquito-borne diseases. Up-to-date information about the city's current risk level will be communicated on the its website.

“Targeted adulticide applications using up to and including ground based Ulta Low Volume Equipment (ULV fog or spray) will only be considered if there are conditions indicative of a Public Health Warning,” Rudolph said. “If adulticiding is implemented, citizens residing in areas where applications will occur will be notified through several methods including press releases, Blackboard Message, city's cable channel (channel 27) and through the city's website.”

She added that city personnel have made reducing mosquito breeding grounds a priority.

“In areas where the elimination of mosquito breeding grounds is not possible, larvicides will be applied,” Rudolph said. “The City of Weatherford is conducting routine surveillance of adult mosquitoes. The collected mosquitoes will be identified and tested for the presence of arboviruses. [A map showing mosquito traps/treatment areas is available on the City of Weatherford website].”

It seems to be working. As of April 22, all of the disease testing that the City of Weatherford has conducted has come back negative.

While the City is working proactively to control mosquito populations and lower the threat of West Nile Virus, citizen involvement is essential.

“Eliminating breeding grounds places is the most important and effective mosquito prevention measures,” she said.

Help the City of Weatherford control mosquito populations by eliminating standing water around your home/business in these and other areas:

•  Ponds

• Tires

•  Piles of trash or debris

•  Neglected pools

•  Wagons and other toys

• Leaky hoses

•  Flower pots and saucers

• Fountains and bird baths

•  Clogged rain gutters

• Water bowls for pets

• Buckets and barrels

• Uncovered boats

•  Pool covers

•  Open trash/recycle bins

Rudolph added that the City of Weatherford is giving away mosquito larvicide or "dunks" to residents who would like to begin a personal mosquito-control program. Mosquito dunks are small tablets comprised of an environmentally-safe larvicide that specifically targets and eliminates mosquito larvae when placed in standing water for 30-45 days (see directions on package). Common examples of standing water include bird baths, old tires, ditches and stagnant pools.

The ity will be giving away two free dunks per household (quantities are limited so please pick yours up as soon as possible). Account holder must be present when picking up the dunks and must show proof of residency, such as a utility bill or driver's license.

Mosquito dunks will be available:

•  City Hall, Customer Service Desk at 303 Palo Pinto in Weatherford.

•  Residents can pick-up dunks from 8 a.m. -5 p.m.

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