Aerial spraying for mosquitoes begins tonight in Tarrant County

Aerial spraying for several Northeast Tarrant County cities will begin tonight, weather permitting, said Pilar Schank, Southlake city spokeswoman.

Southlake, Roanoke, Haslet, Trophy Club and Westlake all approved aerial spraying this week in an effort to kill mosquitoes that cause West Nile virus.

The aerial spraying initiative came as Dallas County reported a 13th death due to the West Nile virus and Parker County recorded its first two human cases of West Nile disease. According to Dallas County Health and Human Services, a Rowlett man in his late 40s with underlying health conditions was diagnosed with West Nile neuro-invasive disease and died. No other information was available because of privacy concerns.

Portions of all five of the Northeast Tarrant County cities to be sprayed are in Denton County, which offered to do the spraying at no cost after declaring a state of emergency last week. The cost of the spraying will be covered by state and federal funding.

The airplanes will fly at an altitude of about 200 feet from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday and Friday.

No aerial spraying is planned for other Tarrant County cities at this time. Unincorporated areas within the participating cities will be sprayed. Other unincorporated areas of Denton County could also be sprayed if enough positive mosquito pools or human cases have been reported there.

Clarke Aviation, the contractor, will spray a pesticide called Duet that kills adult mosquitoes. The pesticide is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, said Bob Martinez, emergency preparedness coordinator for the Denton County Health Department.

Earlier this week, Martinez said the planes use computer mapping to control where the chemical is sprayed so it only hits cities where requested. Road signs went up in Southlake Wednesday announcing aerial spraying will begin.

As of Wednesday, Tarrant County had recorded 232 human cases and four deaths from West Nile virus; Denton County recorded 134 human cases and two deaths; and Dallas County recorded 319 human cases and 13 deaths.

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