NEWS RELEASE CONTACT: Cindy Mendez 972-237-8225
GRAND PRAIRIE—Due to the spread of West Nile Virus and high infection rates, Grand Prairie will participate with Dallas County in an aerial assault against the mosquitoes that carry the disease. The aerial spray will cover all of Grand Prairie, including Tarrant County. The area north of I-30 may be sprayed as early as Friday night, Aug. 17, depending upon weather and coordination with other Dallas County cities. The rest of Grand Prairie will be announced as soon as dates and times are specified by Dallas County. Follow-up sprays may occur the following week at dates and times to be determined. Ground sprays in areas of positive test will continue as needed by the city.
Residents should bring in pets and cover ponds when the spraying occurs in their area. The pesticide is a synthetic pyrethroid and breaks down quickly in sunlight and water, so returning your yard and animals to their normal state the next day is fine. The pesticide is applied at extremely low dosage rates, so there is very low exposure to the pesticide.
Aerial spraying is considered to be an effective and safe way to kill adult mosquitoes in large, densely populated areas. Although the pesticide is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, residents are advised to take the following precautions:
- Minimize exposure. Avoid being outside during spraying, close windows.
- If skin or clothes are exposed, wash them with soap and water.
- Rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables with water as a general precautionary measure.
- Cover beehives.
- Because the chemical breaks down quickly in sunlight and water, no special precautions are suggested for outdoor swimming areas.
Residents are also urged to reduce outdoor activity during evening and nighttime hours. When outside, cover arms and legs and use a mosquito repellant. Standing water should be eliminated promptly, as mosquitoes can grow from egg to adult in as little as seven days. 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 and French drains. Residents should continue to monitor the news and check the city’s website, www.gptx.org, for current information.
To continue to fight the bite, citizens should defend themselves by remembering the four “D’s”:
- DEET—Use insect repellents that contain DEET or any other EPA approved insect repellent.
- Dress—Wear long sleeves/pants, loose and light colored clothing when outdoors.
- Drain—Remove all areas of standing water. Change water in pet dishes and birdbaths several times a week.
- Dusk/Dawn—Protect yourself during dusk and dawn.
Swimming pool owners also have an important responsibility since unmaintained pools create a health hazard for the community by breeding mosquitoes.
West Nile virus is one of a group of viruses spread by mosquito bites, which can cause mild to severe illness. Learning about the virus and ways to prevent infection is key. Check www.gptx.org/FightTheBite, daily for spray locations, positive test alerts and more information. Or subscribe for e-mail alerts at www.gptx.org.