The number of West Nile virus cases have nearly tripled in a week, but Fort Worth said it still doesn't plan to spray. However, the city said it could reconsider the decision if necessary.
The number of West Nile virus cases in Fort Worth, one of a handful of North Texas cities not spraying to kill mosquitoes, has increased from five to 14.
Fort Worth hasn't had a spraying program in place for more than 20 years. The city said it would continue to focus on education, prevention and outreach efforts.
"I think the education and prevention messages are, by and large, a broader-based approach and can have a greater impact in the long term," said Scott Hanlon, assistant director of the city's code compliance department.
However, Hanlon said that if there is a legitimate reason to look at the city's no-spray policy, Fort Worth would do so.
"If things change in the future and it's warranted to review the policy, we'll do that at that time," he said.
Hanlon told the City Council last month that spraying is not effective enough to use. Spraying only affects the adult mosquitoes that are out during the time of the spraying and are near the roadway where the spraying vehicle passes by, he said.
Hanlon said the key is to attack the larvae in standing water.
The city is encouraging residents to look for and remove standing water on their properties and neighboring properties. City code compliance crews check areas when the Tarrant County Public Health Department reports a human case, and the city uses its reverse-911 system to tell residents about prevention materials.
If residents have questions or concerns about standing water on their property, a neighbor's property or city-owned land, they are urged to contact the city's call center at 817-392-EASY.