If you’ve heard the buzz, you’re aware that mosquito season is in full swing. While it’s not the most pleasant part of the warmer months, it’s just part of living in North Texas and the City of Coppell wants residents to be informed and prepared to fight not only the bite, but the presence of mosquitos themselves.
Mosquitos and their bites are not just annoying and uncomfortable, they can also be a health hazard as certain species found in the area can carry West Nile Virus (WNV) and St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) virus. These viruses are spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most infected people do not feel sick, but some may develop mild symptoms such as a fever or headache. In rare cases, infected people can develop a severe illness that affects the central nervous system, which can lead to death.
Preventing the spread of mosquito-borne illness starts with controlling the population by eliminating or treating breeding areas. Mosquitos lay eggs in standing water and they only need a couple of tablespoons to do so. The City’s Environmental Health Department has been diligent in identifying, monitoring, and applying larvicide to kill mosquito larva in problem areas around the City since early March. Residents are encouraged to pinpoint areas around their property that tend to collect water such as open trash bins, potted plant saucers, clogged rain gutters, toys or garden décor, then drain the water and prevent it from collecting. Areas that can’t be drained or eliminated such as ponds and low-lying areas in yards should be treated regularly with larvicide. The recommended form of larvicide — donut shaped tablets known as mosquito dunks — can be purchased at any local or big box hardware store.
The Environmental Health Department monitors the mosquito population weekly through trapping, which begins in May. Samples are sent to Dallas County Health and Human Services for testing at the end of each week and results are received on Mondays. If a sample tests positive for WNV or SLE, the City contracts with Dallas County to conduct targeted ground spraying between 9 pm and 5 am on Monday and Tuesday nights. A chemical called Aqua Reslin, a water-based, low toxicity, low odor, highly effective insecticide that has rapid biodegradation, is used for spraying. It is not harmful to humans or animals, but staying indoors during spraying is recommended.
The City is divided into six Mosquito Control Spray Routes and the entire route in which a positive sample is detected will be sprayed. This timeframe and method are the most effective in eliminating infected mosquitos, preventing them from multiplying, and reducing human transmission. If residents have registered for alerts through NotifyCoppell, they will be notified via email, call, or text if spraying is needed. Notifications will also be displayed on the City’s website and social media accounts. View the map to find your Mosquito Control Spray Route.
On top of draining stagnant water on your property, residents can further protect themselves from mosquito bites by following the other three Ds:
- Defend yourself by applying insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or p-Menthane-3,8-diol (PMD) all day, every day.
- Dress in long sleeves and pants.
- Stay indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitos tend to be more active.
For more information about all things mosquito related, please visit coppelltx.gov/mosquito.