Complete coverage of the West Nile virus in North Texas

Fort Worth Continues to Drain Water in WNV Watch

City continues to use warrants to go after problem vacant properties

By Chris Van Horne
|  Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013  |  Updated 6:13 PM CDT
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The City of Fort Worth is taking the battle against mosquitoes that can carry West Nile virus to property owners, putting them on notice to eliminate standing water.

Chris Van Horne, NBC 5 Fort Worth Reporter

The City of Fort Worth is taking the battle against mosquitoes that can carry West Nile virus to property owners, putting them on notice to eliminate standing water.

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No mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus in Fort Worth, where a woman is recovering from the virus. The city continues to monitor the area and clean up problem properties.

"It is just a relief that there are no mosquitoes that have tested positive for the West Nile virus in our neighborhood, because you always worry when your kids go out to play that that's an issue," said Debbie Beard, a Fort Worth resident who was at Newby Park on Wednesday.

But just because no mosquitoes carrying the virus have been found, it doesn't mean they're not out there, the city's code compliance department says.

The city is being aggressive going after properties with mosquito problems.

The city got a warrant for the yard at a vacant home in the Berkley Place neighborhood just days after finding a mosquito breeding pool that generated thousands of mosquitoes in the backyard every few days.

The city's code compliance director was at the home on Saturday.

"It was like a Deep Woods Off commercial -- I was just covered in mosquitoes," said Brandon Bennett, the city's code compliance director.

Eliminating standing water remains a key part of West Nile virus prevention, he said.

"They drained the water that was pooling there and so now you can walk through the yard and not be swarmed by mosquitoes," he said.

Bennett said he expects it won't be long before mosquitoes carrying the virus do show up.

"As we move into July and then the August time frame, we know we're going to find a lot more of these mosquitoes," Bennett said.

The city will continue to test for mosquitoes infected with the virus. If and when numerous positives are found, Fort Worth will move on to the next step.

"We put a bunch of traps out and if we find in this very small area, that's where the mosquitoes are coming back positive, that's the area that we'll spray," Bennett said.

Fort Worth sprayed from ground vehicles last summer for the first time in decades. The city's policy is to do targeted ground spraying where they know the chemicals will have an effect and where the mosquitoes have the disease.

Code compliance officials said they are receiving a lot of calls from residents about possible mosquito problems in their neighborhoods. Bennett said it is a good sign because it shows residents are paying attention and being proactive.


West Nile Virus:
Click here for complete coverage of the outbreak of West Nile virus in North Texas. Find updated numbers of human cases, spraying schedules, and more FAQs about the disease.

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