Move Over West Nile Mosquitos, There Is A New Pest In Town.

Posted by Jill Lind on Oct 03, 2018
Tags: Mosquito, Town News, West Nile Virus, Zika Virus

As you know on September 19, 2018, the Town of Trophy Club received its first (and only) positive West Nile Virus (WNV) sample of the year.  Larviciding spraying was planned to take place with a truck-mounted ground spraying (adulticiding) Thursday, September 20th and Friday, September 21st between 9:00 PM and 5:00 AM. The Thursday spraying did occur; however due flash flood storm on September 21, the planned remaining spray was postponed.  The following week, when samples were collected again, there were no positive WNV samples and therefore the need to reschedule was canceled. 

 

Trophy Club has contracted with an independent company, Municipal Mosquito that specializes in mosquito surveillance and abatement during the 2018 mosquito season. The Mosquito Management Program includes weather monitoring, activity reports, inspection and ongoing larvicide treatment of known mosquito development sites, storm water catch basin inspection and treatment, adult mosquito surveillance (four traps located in known mosquito areas, one is a Zika trap) and weekly testing of trapped samples.

 

What we know:

West Nile Virus samples have come back negative again today; however, residents are experiencing a new mosquito nuisance, Floodwater Mosquitoes. According to Patrick Prather, Entomologist for Municipal Mosquito, Floodwater Mosquitoes are rampant right now due to the recent rains.  These floodwater mosquito species do not transmit West Nile Virus and are merely just that, a nuisance.  Fogging provides no residual action and is only a point in time application intended to kill flying mosquitoes at the time of application.  Since these floodwater pest mosquitoes fly into the Town from several miles away, localized fogging will provide only moments of relief.  Wide area aerial application is used to combat these mosquitoes in other parts of the state along the coast, but the aerial application for nuisance mosquitoes in North Texas is not an economically viable solution nor is it being considered by Tarrant or Denton County at this time.  Limited area application, rather by truck or air, is not a solution for this particular issue unless it is conducted multiple nights over many weeks.  Trophy Club has implemented and maintained an integrated disease management program focusing on all life stages of specific disease vectoring mosquitoes.  Trophy Club's mosquito management program is not a nuisance mosquito management program.  In addition, of the North Texas region, it has only been confirmed that one nearby City has taken measures to combat these pests with a nuisance fogging. Town staff has made contact with several neighboring communities including Southlake, Grapevine, Westlake, Hurst, and though they are all experiencing these rabid pests too, none have plans to do nuisance spraying.  With more rain in the forecast, it would prove to be completely ineffective for everyone as well. 

Bottom line:
Nuisance spraying will only provide the slightest relief, if any, for a short period and is extremely costly. At this time, Trophy Club will follow the same guidelines as other surrounding Cities as well as both Tarrant and Denton Counties, which is to only spray within designated areas if a West Nile Virus sample is confirmed.   

What can YOU do:
Personal protection is the most effective way to combat mosquitos, especially for those who are 50 and over. Residents should take the proper precautions to reduce the risk of getting bites by remembering the Four D's: dress, defend, dusk/dawn and drain.

  • DRESS to avoid mosquito bites by wearing long, loose and light-colored clothing when outside;
  • DEFEND yourself by using insect repellents approved by the EPA or CDC;
  • DUSK to DAWN outside activities should be avoided when possible, and especially if one isn’t dressed and prepared with repellent; and
  • DRAIN all areas of standing water in and around the home, including wading pools, pet dishes, and birdbaths

Residents should also make special efforts to reduce potential mosquito breeding areas within their yards and within their neighborhoods. Eliminate any standing water that collects on your property, for example, drain tires, cans, flowerpot saucers or anything else that holds water. Make sure gutters drain properly and clean gutters regularly. Change the water in birdbaths at least once a week. Use BTI briquettes, or larvicide briquettes, in standing water. BTI is a biological control agent that is very specific for killing mosquito larvae (available at home improvement and hardware stores).

   

More Information:
If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please contact 682.237.2900 or for general questions about West Nile Virus in humans please call the Denton County Health Department's West Nile Hotline at 940-349-2907. For general questions about West Nile virus in animals, please call the Texas Cooperative Extension at 940-349-2882.