They city of Richardson plans to begin ground spraying for mosquitoes this weekend after testing revealed mosquitoes in four traps tested positive for West Nile virus.
The four traps were in three different areas and, weather permitting, those areas will be sprayed Sunday and Monday.
- The first location to be sprayed is an area bound by Arapaho Road to the south, Campbell Road to the north, Coit Road to the west and Central Expressway to the east.
- The second location to be sprayed is an area bound by Apollo Road to the south, Lookout Drive to the north, Plano Road to the west and Jupiter Road to the east.
- The third location to be sprayed is an area bound by the northern and southern borders of the city, Breckinridge Park on the east and President George Bush Turnpike to the west.
- See maps of the spray areas here.
This year is the earliest that the city has ever begun testing for West Nile virus, a program which usually begins in May.
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“Due to last year’s unprecedented season, we wanted to make sure we were doing everything we could to monitor for the presence of West Nile virus,” said Richardson Health Department Director Bill Alsup in a news release issued Thursday. “In addition to increased surveillance, we’re also increasing our level of mosquito abatement and response to the presence of the virus. The combination of our efforts should help to lessen the level of exposure of West Nile virus to our residents, but we urge people to be aware that, even though it’s not summer, mosquitoes are already present and it’s imperative to take measures to take precautions from being bitten.”
Now that there are confirmed traps with West Nile in Dallas County, Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson wanted to remind citizens to do their part by taking the necessary precautions to avoid exposure to the virus.
The best way to avoid exposure to West Nile virus is to avoid mosquito bites:
- Use insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA-approved repellents.
- Dress in long sleeves and long pants, if outside during dawn and dusk hours, when mosquitoes are more active.
- Drain any standing water and install or repair window screens.
In 2012, Texas led the nation with one-third of all reported West Nile virus cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In North Texas alone, 38 people died after contracting West Nile virus. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, in Dallas and Tarrant counties, combined, there were more than 600 reported cases of West Nile virus.