Colleyville to begin ground spraying

08/07/2014 3:57 PM

08/07/2014 3:59 PM

After six weeks of positive results on West Nile virus tests, Colleyville plans to spray for mosquitoes.

This season, Colleyville traps have tested positive for the West Nile virus seven times. By comparison, the city had only one positive result during the entire mosquito season last year.

“We are in an unprecedented situation,” city spokeswoman Mona Gandy said. “Our intent and what we want to do is treat the problem and keep it as contained as possible.”

Two traps along Little Bear Creek in southeast Colleyville tested positive this week. One of those was at Brown Trail and Texas 26, and the other was near Windview Estates. It was the fifth positive result at the Windview Estates location.

City officials notified residents and homeowners associations Thursday before contracting crews to ground spray. The city plans to begin the three-day treatment as early as Friday, using backpack sprayers or ATVs.

The policy is to ground spray if a human tests positive.

“While we believe in our protocol, we also believe in being flexible enough to respond to a situation that arises,” Gandy said. “We don’t do this lightly or easily.”

The city is also asking Tarrant County Public Health to help find a solution. Dr. Anita Kurian said the county will send someone with an entomology background to help find the mosquito source. Kurian is the Tarrant County Public Health associate director of environmental health services.

The first positive test was near Sparger Park, which has not tested positive since being treated. The next five weeks have showed consistent positive results near Windermere Court in the Windview neighborhood.

The city upgraded from larvicide briquettes to a granular larvicide at its positive test sites July 30. The granular chemical can cover even thimble-size pockets of standing water.

In Tarrant County, as of Aug. 6, Colleyville’s seven positive results are the second highest after Bedford, which has had 11 this season. Most of Bedford’s activity has come from the area that borders Colleyville. Kurian said the cities have been communicating with the county and with one another.

Elsewhere in Tarrant County, Hurst planned to start spraying at about 9 p.m. Thursday after collection sites at 7024 Precinct Line Road and 436 Melbourne Road tested positive.

A human case of severe West Nile neuroinvasive disease was reported in Crowley, but there have been no cases of the less severe West Nile fever, according to Tarrant County Public Health.

Officials said mosquitoes tested near the Crowley resident’s home have not tested positive for the virus.

Colleyville has three permanent mosquito traps and two that rotate to 16 sites. The three static traps are near water — Big Bear Creek, Little Bear Creek and at the Colleyville Nature Center.

Residents can obtain two larvicide briquettes from the city’s Public Works/Engineering office at City Hall. The city also encourages residents to drain standing water, wear long sleeves outdoors, use insect repellent with DEET and avoid going outdoors at dawn and dusk.

— Reporter Elizabeth Campbell contributed to this report.

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