Cities have sent mosquito traps on a weekly basis to Tarrant County to test for West Nile virus, since April 1 without any positive cases.Mosquito season has begun and with it comes West Nile prevention around the area.ColleyvilleThe City of Colleyville is continuing its prevention strategy from last year.The city has three mosquito traps that will stay in the same locations and two that will rotate around the city, covering 16 different sites.The three stagnant traps are located near Big Bear Creek, Little Bear Creek and the Colleyville Nature Center.“They are pretty much scattered throughout the city,” city engineer Jeremy Hutt said about the traps. “Open spaces, parks, anywhere we think would be a good area to sample.”Colleyville only reported one positive trap last year.The city uses larvicide to treat public areas and will provide residents with two larvicide briquettes per household. Hutt added that the only time the city engages in ground fogging with pesticides is after there has been a positive human-case in the city.Grapevine Grapevine has made small changes to its plan after reviewing last year’s season.Environmental manager Dewey Stoffels said the city will continue using five static traps and one rotating trap.“Last year, it seemed like the virus moved in from the north east so we’re concentrating rotating site sample in that area,” he said.Residents can obtain larvicide from the city via Parks and Recreation in City Hall, or at the Municipal Service Center.Stoffels said the city will ground spray near any traps that test positive for West Nile and alert residents.SouthlakeThe city’s current levels of concern are low after three weeks of testing.“Right now we have a very low risk because we’re not finding the indicator species,” said environmental coordinator Christi Upton.Upton contributed the low results to the cold weather and said as temperatures rise so will the mosquito presence.The city uses five static traps and one rotating trap to monitor mosquito activity. Upton said she spreads the six to cover the city.Southlake will not be providing residents with larvicide this year, but Upton encourages residents to buy briquettes from a hardware store.Residents responsibilitiesWhile mosquitoes may not be a common annoyance yet, the city staffers urge the public to begin precautionary practices.“As soon as they see any activity it’s really good to get into practicing [the four D’s],” Hutt said. “The mosquitoes are present, the mosquitoes are out.”The four D’s include draining standing water where mosquitoes breed, dressing in long sleeves and pants, using insect repellant with DEET and avoiding being outdoors at dusk and dawn — when mosquitoes are most active.Upton said the City of Southlake encourages people to take preventative measures to avoid using pesticides, which can harm the environment and may help develop pesticide-resistant mosquitoes.“The two things that are most important for people to be using is focusing on not breeding the mosquito in the first place and secondly use personal protection as a means to reduce your own risk,” she said.
Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dustindangli