Dallas – Due to the spread of the West Nile Virus and high infection rates, aerial spraying will begin tonight in Dallas County. In the City of Dallas aerial spraying will be conducted from 10pm – approximately 1am, and cover the area bounded by Interstate 635 to the north and east, the Dallas North Tollway to the west and Interstate 30 to the south.
The area covers 49,000 acres and includes University Park, Highland Park and all of East Dallas. An additional 20,000 acres may be added later today. When those areas are identified, another public notification will be made. Mayor Mike Rawlings issued an emergency declaration yesterday, activating the City of Dallas Emergency Management Plan, noting that the West Nile Virus “has caused and appears likely to continue to cause widespread and severe illness and loss of life.” 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, close windows and keep pets inside.
- 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 small ornamental fish ponds.
- 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. To report standing water or mosquito problems, call 3-1-1. For more information visit www.dallascityhall.com.