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Mosquito Control – Action Plan and your help
The City of Watauga through the Public Works Department, Storm Water Division, takes a proactive approach to mosquito control. We work to reduce their population and monitor for west nile virus and watch for zika virus cases in partnership with Tarrant County Health Department.
The City of Watauga releases Mosquito Fish, (Gambusia affinis) at certain locations within our city’s drainage channels that hold pockets of water. These native Texas minnows are known to eat large numbers of mosquito larva. This plan is in conjunction with the Tarrant County Public Health Department (TCHD). We are also working with the TCHD by collecting mosquitos from our mosquito traps and transporting the mosquitos to the TCHD for testing for the West Nile virus.
The City of Watauga also maintains most of our earthen drainage channels by mowing and trimming (during the growing season) every month, on a regular schedule. We also pick up debris in our channels on a regular basis. This monthly cleaning and mowing reduces the habitats that mosquito’s may use for breeding.
The City of Watauga also utilizes Mosquito Dunks that are tossed into contained water sources (that may breed mosquito’s), to kill mosquito larva.
The City of Watauga also utilizes the street sweeper to remove locations of standing water in the street during mosquito season.
If we find positive tests for west nile virus (WNV) two weeks in a row, we spray the area of concern. If Tarrant County informs us of a human case of either WNV or Zika, we spray that area. Due to privacy issues, we are not given or allowed to share locations of actual human cases (we only know the area to spray).
These control efforts that the City of Watauga conducts will help reduce the mosquito population thus reducing the chance of someone contracting the West Nile or Zika Virus. The city will continue to implement these safe guards for the protection of our citizens.
While there is always a request to spray the entire city or spray on a monthly basis, our program is proactive while spraying in more reactive. “Outdoors, the insecticide particles disperse rapidly and may not kill many mosquitoes. The major disadvantage of space spraying is that it will not manage insects for long periods of time.” – www.mosquito .org/page/control
A news article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram on June 26, 2019 by Jeff Rugg stated: “Treating at the larval stage is the most effective way to control mosquitoes. Adult insecticide sprays may look good to the onlooker but are not as effective at controlling mosquitoes.”
The above method has our City as one of the best for low positive mosquito west nile virus tests in Tarrant County each year. If our risk level increases, we shall review our plan. The City of Watauga for the past few years has the following test results for west nile virus: 0 positive test in 2019, 2 in 2018, 1 in 2017, 5 in 2016, and 4 in 2015. We have zero (0) zika virus reports. However, birds carry WNV and could bring the virus to us at any time.
There are things that you and your neighbors can do to assist in controlling the mosquito population around your home.
1. Change water in birdbaths, dog bowls, non-chlorinated swimming pools, plant pot with water tray, etc. once a week
2. Clean debris from rain gutters
3. Remove or empty anything that can hold water weekly
4. Place Bti dunks in any areas holding water that you cannot drain
5. Mow your lawn weekly and keep it free of leaves
6. Maintain your property free of debris and or clutter, water will stand on many items left in your yard
7. Encourage your neighbors to do the same