VoncielJonesHillpool.jpgby Eric NicholsonI don’t know about you, but the mosquitos are so bad this year I have taken to carrying OFF in my purse! They are biting me like crazy, and in fact the City of Dallas has found signs of the virus in the 6600 block of Brookshire, in 75230. The City was planning to spray insecticide tonight and tomorrow, between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., but now that will likely be postponed due to the weather.

Tonight’s critical area is bounded by Azalea Lane on the north, Tulane Boulevard on the west, Airline Road on the east, and Walnut Hill Lane on the south. (more…)

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.

 

We are a buggy city, buggier this year than normal. Hence for the first time in 45 years, the City of Dallas just fogged  major parts of the city in an airplane that took off from Dallas’ Executive field in Oak Cliff.

I am in North Dallas and we are now about three hours into the fogging. I hate that we’ve just basically sprayed Agent Orange on everything, and you betcha I brought my pets in. We have a bird. She has had limited exterior this summer exposure because of west Nile —- if birds catch it, they can die fairly quickly! So I feel this may have been a necessary evil.

And we’ve made national news: the Washington Post, the Chicago Sun Times, all commiserating and commenting on the pickle Mayor Mike Rawlings and city manager Mary Suhm found themselves in: nuke the city with pesticides or do nothing, exposing others to the nasty bites and possible deaths.

This far, this is a God-awful year for bugs even though we in Dallas are only 17 on the most-buggy scale, behind Austin and San Antonio: Nearly half of all West Nile cases in the United States so far this year are in Texas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If the trend continues, 2012 will be the worst West Nile year in state history. The virus, which can affect cognitive function,  has killed 10 people in Dallas thus far and caused at least 200 illnesses.

The insecticide is called Duet Dual-Action Adulticide. It’s toxic to fish and other types of aquatic life, and it contains distilled petroleum, which may have even come from Texas.

Aerial spraying is a common response to West Nile, or at least it is in Florida and California, two places known for heavy mosquito populations. I recall nightly pesticide sprays in suburban Illinois. Speaking of Florida and California, people are still moving there.

So will our city’s response enhance real estate and make everyone want to move here so they don’t get bitten or itch to death, or die, show what a great city we have? Or will they think we’re all a bunch of polluters? Inquiring minds want to know!