Mosquito Control Program

The Environmental Health Division, through its Integrated Mosquito Management Program, implements mosquito control activities.  The program focuses on mosquito trapping and testing, public education, reduction, and abatement of standing water.  

Following the City mosquito control policy based on scientific surveillance approach, only areas that test positive for West Nile Virus in mosquito traps are sprayed.  It is important to consider that spraying exclusively based on complaints may lead to pesticide resistance in mosquitoes, hence making spraying ineffective.  Therefore, the need for spray is less driven by complaints and more based on teh scientific surveillance results.  

However, high mosquito activity in some areas could be due to any standing water source, such as tires, any container or ornamental pots with water or bird baths, swimming pools with stagnant water, etcetera.  

Increased rain escalates the number of nuisance mosquitoes, known as "flood mosquitoes." This species does not typically carry the West Nile Virus.  As species responsible for carrying West Nile Virus normally breed in stagnant water. Mosquito traps are placed around the community to monitor the mosquito population.  Weekly tests for West Nile Virus begin May 1.  Staff will stay in contact with the Dallas County health officials to monitor regional conditions, adjusting response activities if conditions warrant.  

Mosquitoes can transmit viruses such as West Nile, Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika.  Fore more information regarding mosquito prevention, visit the CDC and Dallas County website.  

The most effective method of controlling mosquitoes is to eliminate any habitat in which they would thrive or be attracted to.  While the city continues to treat limited common areas, the greatest preventative impact comes from measures taken by each property owner to control mosquitoes around their home.  

Precautions


 Most effective way to avoid any mosquito-borne illness is to take the following simple precautions around the home.  Follow the "Five D's

1. DRAIN standing water in your backyard and neighborhood; old tires, flower pots and clogged rain gutters are mosquito breeding sites.  Change out pet water and bird baths daily and keep swimming pools treated.  
2. DEET - Apply insect repellent that contains DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide).  Be sure to read label instructions.  Spray clothing with repellent as well as exposed skin.  
3. DRESS in light colored long sleeves and long pants when you are outside.  
4. DUSK and DAWN is when mosquitoes are most active.  Stay indoors or minimize outdoor activities.   
5. DOORS and windows should remains closed and screens kept in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.  

To report areas of stagnant water, or for additional inquiries, please call the Environmental Health Division at 972-919-2539.  

Using Mosquito Dunks


Where can I find mosquito dunks?
You can find the dunks at any home or garden store. The City also has made mosquito dunks available for residents and during the peak mosquito breeding season in the spring and summer you can pick them up free of charge at the main lobby at City Hall and at the Senior Center on Dennis Lane.

How do I use mosquito dunks?
Each individual dunk will last up to 30 days and cover 100 square feet of water surface. For smaller areas such as bird baths, and water filled vases dunks can be broken up into smaller pieces and suggested amounts are as follows:

1 to 5 square feet 1/4 Dunk
5 to 25 square feet 1/2 Dunk
25 to 100 square feet 1 Dunk

Note: For best results and optimum mosquito control, use the product in standing water sources before any aquatic mosquito life forms are observed. Pupae are a non-feeding stage and will not be affected by the product and can complete the transformation into adult mosquitoes once they are present.

Most effective way to avoid any mosquito-borne illness is to take the following simple precautions around the home. Follow the "Five D's"
1. DRAIN standing water in your backyard and neighborhood; old tires, flower pots and clogged rain gutters are mosquito breeding sites.  Change out pet water and bird baths daily and keep swimming pools treated.  
2. DEET - Apply insect repellent that contains DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide).  Be sure to read label instructions.  Spray clothing with repellent as well as exposed skin.  
3. DRESS in light colored long sleeves and long pants when you are outside.  
4. DUSK and DAWN is when mosquitoes are most active.  Stay indoors or minimize outdoor activities.   
5. DOORS and windows should remains closed and screens kept in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.  

To report areas of stagnant water, or for additional inquiries, please call the Environmental Health Division at 972-919-2539.  

Common standing water sites around homes and yards that can breed mosquitoes if left unchecked

WestNileGraphic_thumb.jpg


Protect yourself from mosquito bites



Drain or remove all standing water from your yard or property. This includes:
  • Changing water at least weekly in bird baths, and pet water bowls
  • Dumping excess water from flower pot saucers
  • Removing any containers including bottles and aluminum cans capable of holding water from your yard
  • Cleaning open gutter systems and downspouts where debris, leaves, and water can collect
  • Storing tires under a covered structure or punch holes in them to avoid collecting water
  • Treating any French drains or drainage trenches on your property with a monthly mosquito dunk to prevent breeding
  • Maintaining your swimming pool with proper chlorination and filtration
  • Draining water from wading pools, wheelbarrows, carts, children's toys and tarpaulins and storing them under a covered structure
  • Repairing all outdoor leaky faucets, A/C units, and sprinkler systems to prevent pooled up water
  • Stocking ornamental ponds with mosquito-eating fish, mosquito dunks, or aerating the water with a pump and filter mechanism
  • Cutting back overgrown bushes and shrubbery, and keeping the grass cut short to avoid providing shelter for adult mosquitoes
  • Ensuring trash and recycling receptacles have tight fitting lids to avoid water accumulation when it rains
  • Filling in low spots or ruts on your property with dirt or sand
  • Draining or using mosquito dunks on flat roofs where water can collect especially if under shade
  • Filling in any tree holes with sand and/or mortar
  • Cleaning out and covering utility vaults
  • Overturn or cover canoes and recreational boats to prevent water accumulation inside when it rains
  • Notifying the Environmental Health Division if you see standing water or stagnant swimming pools/spas so they can be checked and treated by calling 972.919.2539.

Mosquito Spraying 


What is in the spray and how does it kill the mosquitoes?

The chemical that is used to kill mosquitoes is permethrin, which is a safe EPA approved insecticide in the pyrethroid family. Pyrethroids are synthetically manufactured chemicals that are made to act like the natural insecticide extracts found in the chrysanthemum flower. This chemical is atomized into micro-fine droplets which stay suspended in the air so they can come in contact with active adult mosquitoes and kill them by interfering with their nervous system. The tiny droplets rapidly breakdown leaving little to no residual at ground level. For the spraying to be effective weather conditions must be ideal with no wind gusting or blowing over 10 miles an hour, air temperatures must be above 50 degrees F., and no rain or the chemical will not stay suspended in the air and will be ineffective.

How does the City determine the need for spraying?

Night time spraying specifically focuses on the mosquito species that can potentially transmit West Nile and the need for spraying is prioritized through scientific surveillance methods such as high mosquito trap counts, positive human cases, and mosquito pools that test positive for disease. The need to spray is less driven by mosquito complaints and mosquito spraying requests, although spraying can be utilized to knock down high populations of nuisance mosquitoes. It is important to remember though, that over-spraying based solely on complaints can over-expose mosquitoes to the pesticide currently in use and may result in the local mosquito population becoming pesticide resistant making spraying ineffective.

How do I find out what areas in the City will be sprayed?

Information will be shared on the website or you can call 972.919.2597 for more information.  

What precautions should I take at home when my area is sprayed?


Bring in pet dishes or cover them.
Cover aquatic ponds, fish ponds, and birdbaths.
Bring your pets inside for the night.
Do not go outside during spray times.
If you have health problems, such as asthma, take special precautions as directed by your doctor, if necessary.

What if I don't want my property sprayed?

The City will try to do everything possible to accommodate individuals who, for varying reasons prefer their property not be sprayed. For those who do not wish to have their property sprayed you can email or call the Sustainability & Public Health Department at 972.919.2597.

The following links are good resources on mosquitoes and mosquito control:

CDC FAQs Mosquito Control
http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/faq/mosquitoControl.html

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