Amanda Guerra, NBC 5 News
The restaurant industry in Dallas could change the way the city fights West Nile virus. One group wants the city too use a spray that targets mosquito eggs and is healthier for everyone.
A Dallas group that includes restaurant owners is trying to get city officials to change the way they spray for mosquitoes to fight West Nile virus.
Currently, Dallas uses adulticide, which targets adult mosquitoes. But the group Concerned Citizens with Safer Mosquito Control want the city to transition to larvicide, which targets mosquito eggs.
"What the consensus has been from our research and working our experts is, targeting the immature stages is the most effective way to control mosquitoes," Jennifer Land said. "If you have a bug outbreak at your home, if you're dealing with fleas, it's not going to do much to just kill the adults; you go after the eggs."
Larvicide is not only more effective, it's a healthier way to spray for mosquitoes, she said.
Land asked the City Council on Wednesday to consider using the product, handing council members a letter signed by several local farmers and restaurant owners who feel the current spray is too harsh.
"There's a local grower that recently had to destroy their crop because it was sprayed, and that food will now not end up on the table somewhere, to whereas BTI larvicide would not impact crops," she said.
Assistant City Manager Joey Zapata said the city is aware of larvicide and currently uses it, but only in tablet form.
The spray form of larvicide is new, he said.
"We've done a little bit of research and seen that some cities along the East Coast have been using it," Zapata said.
City officials say they want to make sure spray larvicide is the best way to keep citizens safe before it starts to integrate it into its West Nile virus plan.
Dallas County officials are also looking into the product.