How to protect yourself from West Nile Virus
Those pesky mosquitoes. They can ruin the brightest of nights and the sunniest of days. And with the spring bringing much rain to the area, they can feel right at home.
However, the city of Arlington is working to help residents and visitors be mosquito-free this year. A program that is underway will run through November as mosquitoes in the city will be trapped and taken to the Tarrant County Public Health facility.
There, they will be tested for West Nile and St. Louis Encephalitis viruses. If a trapped mosquito tests positive, the city will conduct targeted ground spraying within a half-mile radius of the trap site over two consecutive nights.
The city will also survey low-lying areas for standing water and deploy larvicide at strategic locations to eradicate mosquito larvae, or prevent it from developing.
The ground spraying is on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., weather permitting, and only when a positive trap is identified. An ultra-low volume application of Aqua-Pursuit, a water-based permethrin product, will be used in specific areas where deploying larvicide and other measures have not proven effective.
Arlington also partners with Tarrant County Public Health to educate folks on simple measures they should take to prevent mosquito bites. These include looking for the ingredient DEET in repellent, always wearing repellent outdoors, wearing light clothing to cover as much skin as possible when mosquitoes are a threat, and draining standing water in the yard (including old tires, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, etc.).
For shallow standing water that cannot be eliminated, check regularly for the presence of mosquito larvae and, if seen, apply a biological larvicide often referred to as “mosquito dunks,” available at local hardware stores.
People who are concerned about exposure to a pesticide, such as those with chemical sensitivity or breathing conditions such as asthma, are urged to stay indoors during the application period. Once the pesticide dissipates, it breaks down in the environment and produces little residual effect.
For more information, call 817-459-6777. You can also download the city’s free Ask Arlington app to receive spraying notifications or to report standing water or mosquito infestations.