Brian Scott, Denton County Reporter
On Monday night, Lewisville will start trapping mosquitoes to test for West Nile virus as well as battling the disease-carrying insects where they live.
The city of Lewisville officially began testing for West Nile virus this week.
Animal control officers on Monday night put out about 10 mosquito traps in areas they identified as hot spots for the bugs last summer.
The motorized traps attract mosquitoes with specially treated water and then suck them into a net for testing.
"We'll set this out in a place where there's standing water, normally," said Timothy Moore, animal control officer.
Lewisville is conducting the tests independently alongside a sister city to get a head start on testing in the month of April. The state won't actually begin taking samples until early May.
"The city of Lewisville's decided to be very proactive this year when it comes to the West Nile virus," said Laura Wise, animal services supervisor. "It allows us to identify what types of mosquitoes are present as well as if they are carrying that West Nile virus."
In addition to early testing, the city will make mosquito dunks available to residents at the central fire station on Thursday and Friday.
The dunks are large tablets that can be placed in standing water to kill off mosquito larvae without being harmful to humans or pets.
"It is OK for the birdbaths, it's OK for the buckets and, yes, it's killing the larvae that might settle," Wise said. "That's how mosquitoes breed, is the larvae sits on top of the water.
Wise said they do not recommend putting the tablets directly in pets' water bowls.
The city has budgeted for two free dunks per household. Additional tablets can be purchased at most home and garden stores.
During the 2012 West Nile virus outbreak in North Texas, Lewisville city had about 30 or so cases.
The city, which says education is its best tool to fight the virus, has created pamphlets and a YouTube video on how to protect your household.