City of Denton Enters Risk Level 5 of Mosquito Plan

brown mosquito
Photo by Егор Камелев on Unsplash

DENTON, TX, Aug. 26, 2020 – Effective Aug. 26, 2020, the City of Denton entered into Risk Level 5 – Public Health Alert of the Mosquito Surveillance and Response Plan.

Under the Mosquito Surveillance and Response Plan, Risk Level 5 indicates that the probability of a person contracting a mosquito-borne disease like West Nile Virus is high. Risk Level 5 was triggered because multiple human cases of West Nile Virus have been confirmed within the City of Denton. Denton County Public Health has confirmed two human cases of West Nile Virus in the City of Denton at this time.

At Risk Level 5, the City will continue to conduct routine surveys of adult mosquitoes, which will be identified to species level and screened for the presence of viruses. The locations where disease-carrying mosquitoes were captured will be indicated on a map that is available on the City of Denton’s website at www.cityofdenton.com/fightthebite. In addition, the City of Denton notifies medical professionals and veterinarians about the presence of the disease. The amount of biological agents (BTI) applied to kill mosquito larva will also be increased over previous Risk Level amounts, and areas where positive samples have been collected will be intensely treated with biological larvicides. Additional larvicides containing Spinosad may be applied at this time.

In addition, the City is increasing public education emphasizing source reduction, personal protection, and disease symptoms. The application of highly targeted ground-based insecticides for killing adult mosquitoes will be considered by the City Council and possibly implemented at this stage. The insecticides used will likely contain pyrethrins or similar low-impact insecticide. If insecticide use is approved by Council, citizens should avoid contact with these insecticides when they are applied. The City of Denton will announce spraying times in advance and will conduct spraying in the evening to early morning hours. If public health emergencies are declared at the county or state level, the recommended responses associated with the declaration will take precedence over the City of Denton’s plan.

Personal protection is a critical at this Risk Level, especially for the elderly and children.

  • Stay indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
  • Spray clothing with repellents containing picaridin, permethrin, or DEET. Please follow manufacturer’s instructions on the label.
  • Repair or replace all screens in your home that have tears or holes.
  • Citizens should also avoid contact with any insecticides applied for mosquito control. The City of Denton will announce spraying times in advance and will conduct spraying in the evening to early morning hours.

Citizens should make special efforts to reduce potential mosquito breeding areas within their yards and within their neighborhoods.

  • Eliminate any standing water that collects on your property. For example, tires, cans, flowerpot saucers, or anything else that holds water.
  • Make sure gutters drain properly and clean gutters regularly.
  • Change the water in birdbaths at least every three days.
  • Use BTI briquettes in standing water.

The City of Denton Water Utilities Department has a limited supply of Bti briquettes that residents can pick up in limited quantities (two per resident) while the supply lasts. Residents will be required to show their driver’s license or a current City of Denton utility bill to prove Denton residency.

City BTI distribution locations:

  • Customer Service, located at City Hall East, 601 E. Hickory St., Ste F. (Corner of Hickory Street and Railroad Avenue); Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • City of Denton Composting located at 1100 S. Mayhill Rd. in the Pecan Creek Water Reclamation Facility; Tuesday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Detailed information about the steps residents can take to reduce the mosquito population and increase their protection against West Nile virus can be found at www.cityofdenton.com. Other resources include the Texas Department of Health Services website at www.dshs.state.tx.us and the Denton County Health Department website at www.dentoncounty.com/wnv.

Contact: Deborah Viera, (940) 349-7162, Deborah.Viera@cityofdenton.com

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Source: City of Denton