Mola Lenghi, Arlington Reporter
The city of Arlington this year they are working to prevent larvae from becoming mosquitoes this year and ridding the area of standing water.
Arlington is one of several North Texas cities working to prevent the spread of mosquitoes and keep residents safe from the West Nile virus.
The recent influx of storms across the Metroplex has added a challenge to health officials’ fight to prevent mosquito breeding grounds in standing water.
Dr. Cynthia Simmons, the Arlington Public Health Authority, said rain in North Texas is good and bad.
“We need the rain - it's good, but in a couple of days we stand to have more mosquitoes,” said Dr. Simmons. “Today, we've noticed, for example, that there's not that many larvae present because they're been washed away, but several days from now, that standing water if it's still present, will potentiate the larvae growing at that time.”
West Nile virus killed more than 40 people in North Texas last year and sickened more than 1,200.
The city says preventing larvae from becoming mosquitoes is their main focus this year.
“What we're doing is sending out crews twice a week to test mosquitoes and look at the number of mosquitoes that are in any given area,” Dr. Simmons said. “If we see high levels of mosquitoes then we're using larvacide, which is a naturally active biological that is safe.”
The city can only cover so much ground -- primarily, public property. The city says residents are responsible for covering private property.
“Pots underneath planted pots, rain gutters, old tire swings that may be sitting around, bird baths, things like that that have stagnant sitting water have to be drained and emptied,” Dr. Simmons said.
The city says spraying will also be an option this year, but typically, a last resort effort.