Remember to drain standing water to prevent West Nile Virus from spreading! Hopefully Councilmember Vonciel Jones Hill has drained her backyard pool. (Photo: Eric Nicholson)

Remember to drain standing water to prevent West Nile Virus from spreading! Hopefully Councilmember Vonciel Jones Hill has drained her backyard pool. (Photo: Eric Nicholson)

According to the Lake Highlands Advocate, two pools in the vicinity of 11400 block of Park Central and the 11900 block of Woodbridge have tested positive for West Nile Virus. Since then, Dallas officials have sprayed pesticides in Lake Highlands from Monday to Wednesday in hopes to curb the population of Culex mosquitoes, the only species of the blood-sucking vermin to carry the disease.

As the article notes, we’re actually showing a lot of improvement on the West Nile Virus front, because no one has died during this year’s peak mosquito season. Two people died from the virus last year, and 20 people died in 2012.

Of course, we here at CandysDirt seem to attract mosquitoes more than most  — it must be our sweet personalities! — so we diligently follow the five Ds :

  • DRAIN—all areas of standing water including changing water in wading pools, birdbaths, low pavement areas and gutters;
  • DEET—Use bug spray and protect clothing with repellents containing permethrin or DEET — I have also invented DEET-covered pantyhose!
  • DRESS—Dress in light- colored clothing with long sleeves and wear long pants even though it’s hot
  • DUSK/DAWN—Limit outdoor exposure at dusk and dawn when they bite the most
  • DOORS—Keep door and window screens in good repair. This is no time to let in unscreened “fresh air”

 

 

Poorly maintained swimming pools like Councilwoman Vonciel Jones Hill's could become breeding grounds for West Nile Virus-spreading mosquitoes, which mature from an egg in as few as three days. (Photo: Eric Nicholson/Dallas Observer)

Poorly maintained swimming pools like Councilwoman Vonciel Jones Hill’s could become breeding grounds for West Nile Virus-spreading mosquitoes, which mature from an egg in as few as three days. (Photo: Eric Nicholson/Dallas Observer)

Well, you’ll find us on our way to Lake Tahoe, where there are no disease carrying mosquitoes and the vistas and waters are easy to soak up. (Well, Candy is headed there, and I’m with her in spirit, so that counts, right?) It was an easy decision now that Dallas County Health and Human Services has declared the first human case of West Nile Virus within the city limits. Not only that, but it was found in 75230, our beloved Preston Hollow area!

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Michael Pollard

Some residents near White Rock Lake woke up to a tragedy – massive numbers of dead bees all over neighborhoods that were subject to ground spraying by the City of Dallas last night. Sure, I hate mosquitoes just as much as anyone else, and with a toddler, I’m really scared of West Nile Virus, but should we be using pesticides to fix this problem, or education and enforcement.

That’s the stance that the Brandon and Susan Pollard of the Texas Honeybee Guild are taking. Through its Facebook page, the guild shared a video of bees dying from broad-spectrum pesticides sprayed overnight by City of Dallas trucks. Photos are coming in from Lake Highlands and Lakewood of dead honeybees twitching and writhing on porches and lawns. And according to Jim Schutze, as far as preventing deaths from West Nile Virus, the spraying doesn’t do a darn thing.

The guild, which was featured in the Lakewood/East Dallas Advocate, is a champion of local agriculture and sells its raw and unfiltered “Zip Code Honey” at nearby farmers markets. What will the guild do if the city’s unfettered spraying kills all the bees? What about local agriculture?

Still, the city will continue to spray despite the deaths of pollinators and many other beneficial insects. Kind of makes you wonder if it’s even worth it to have an organic garden if the city is just spraying pesticides all over the place willy-nilly. If you’re wondering where the city will be spraying next, check out the schedules and maps on the City Hall website.

Tonight the city will be spraying in the Lake Highlands/Audelia area, the Scottsbluff area, and areas surrounding Lake June Road, so be sure to bring your pets inside. And just to be safe, stay inside this evening, too. OK?

Do you think that pesticide spraying will put people off from buying homes in Dallas?

 

MosquitoRemember last year when everyone was b**tching about spraying for West Nile? We were called “Ground Zero” in the West Nile Virus battle by the Washington Post. The county, bloggers, journalists and politicians were torn and divided over what to do: nuke the area with planes spraying pesticide to kill the buggers, or let nature take it’s course. (They sprayed.) Turns out, twenty people died, the latest victim just a month ago, and more than 200 were hospitalized with West Nile last summer. That finally made the “natural” phobics shut up about how the spraying was akin to Agent Orange

At the end of April, Dallas kicked off an aggressive campaign to fight the virus that caught us so off guard last year. It is increasing efforts to stop the virus by using three times as many mosquito traps, paying extra for faster lab results, and adding an additional pesticide spraying truck.

The City of Dallas also promises to  respond to reports of standing water within 24 hours, last year the city took as long as ten days to do something about it. Yeah, by the time they came the water was gone and millions of new mosquitoes had hatched.

The second series of spraying begins tonight in some Dallas neighborhoods. Should you take any pre-cautions? It’s best to, obviously, stay indoors. I don’t know what my husband tells his OB patients, but I bet he wants them in and away from any sort of pesticide.

Your a/c has filters for this sort of thing so leave it on. Bring in toys or lawn furniture before the spray, or just hose everything down in the morning. We have a parrot who is particularly susceptible to West Nile and who, in fact, cannot go out when I hear reports of West Nile near our home. I spray her cage with water before she gets in, wash all her bowls and tell her not to get out of the safe zone.

Last night we went for a walk — puddles everywhere — and sprayed on the repellant. I keep a can in each car and one in every bathroom. Mosquitos love me but this year, they are not going to get so much as a nibble — thanks to the City of Dallas and the Five D’s:

  • DRAIN—all areas of standing water including changing water in wading pools, birdbaths, low pavement areas and gutters;
  • DEET—Use bug spray and protect clothing with repellents containing permethrin or DEET — I have also invented DEET-covered pantyhose!
  • DRESS—Dress in light- colored clothing with long sleeves and wear long pants even though it’s hot
  • DUSK/DAWN—Limit outdoor exposure at dusk and dawn when they bite the most
  • DOORS—Keep door and window screens in good repair. This is no time to let in unscreened “fresh air”

Areas in Dallas to be Sprayed for a Second Time for Mosquitoes that can carry West Nile Virus 

Dallas – The following areas are scheduled for targeted ground spraying on Wednesday night into Wednesday morning. Due to significant increases in the number of mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus that have been found in these areas, the Dallas County Health & Human Services has requested the City of Dallas to conduct targeted ground spraying operations.

Weather permitting; the areas delineated below are scheduled for mosquito control spraying beginning at 10 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, 2013 and concluding early Wednesday morning June 19, 2013.

Control Areas: The areas to be sprayed are noted below:

Between McLean Avenue, Brandon Street, S. Westmoreland Road and Glenhaven Boulevard

Between Grove Oaks Boulevard, Masters Drive, Old Seagoville Road, September Lane and Apache Drive

Between Lewiston Avenue, Scyene Road, Masters Drive, Noweta Avenue and Koonce Avenue

Between Hillcrest Road, Churchill Way, Pecan Forest Drive, Lake Edge Drive and Stone Meadow Drive

Between Edgemere Road, Northport Drive, Hillcrest Road and Norway Road

Between Hoblitzelle Drive, Town Street, Oberlin Drive and Granis Street

 

While the insecticide is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for treatment, residents in the above areas should avoid contact with the spray by staying indoors. Persons inside a vehicle while trucks are actively spraying should remain in their vehicles with the windows up and the air conditioner on until the trucks pass and the spray is no longer visible. Persons out during the scheduled spraying time should be alert for trucks and should not follow them. Residents who come in contact with the spray are advised to wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water. The spray breaks down quickly in the presence of sunlight and has no residual effect.

 

Protection against mosquito bites

Dallas residents are urged to take precautions against mosquito bites by reducing outdoor activity during evening and nighttime hours. Residents who are outside during these times should cover their arms and legs and use a mosquito repellant.

 

Prevent mosquito breeding

Residents should eliminate standing water to prevent mosquito breeding and the spread of West Nile Virus. Breeding places for mosquitoes include swimming pools that are not kept clean, stagnant ponds, pet watering dishes, birdbaths, potted plants, old tires, empty containers, toys and clogged rain gutters & French drains. Standing water should be eliminated promptly, as mosquitoes can grow from egg to adult in as little as seven days.

To report standing water or mosquito problems Dallas residents should call 3-1-1. For additional information on Mosquito Control, visit www.dallascityhall.com.