Frequently Asked Questions and Information about WNV
May 29, 2013
What do I need to know?
Larviciding and source reduction/elimination are considererd to be the most effective, long-term solutions for mosquito control. Right now, personal protection is not only the best way of reducing your risk; it's your individual responsibility.
What is the risk of someone becoming infected with West Nile?
The risk is very low. Even in areas where the virus is circulating, very few mosquitoes are infected with the virus. Even if a mosquito is infected, less than 1% of people who are bitten and become infected will get severely ill. The chances you will become severely ill from any one mosquito bite are extremely small. http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/arboviral/westnile/information/general/Faqs
What are the symptoms of West Nile virus?
What is known about the effects on dogs and cats? http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/wnv_dogs_cats.htm
How can I find out what cases have been confirmed?
Please visit Texas Department of State Health Services West Nile Virus website for more information regarding our area: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/arboviral/westNile/
What is the City of Frisco doing about West Nile virus?
On July 30, 2002, we began treating city-owned areas of stagnant water with a larvicide. This is an integral part of the approach recommended by the Center for Disease Control in minimizing the number of mosquitoes in our area. On June 16, 2004, we began a mosquito surveillance program. Mosquitoes are a direct indicator of human illness risk when it comes to the West Nile Virus. In this program, mosquitoes are trapped and shipped for testing. In addition, there is continuous monitoring of areas owned and maintained by the City of Frisco.
On April 16, 2013, City Council approved a revised Mosquito Surveillance and Response Plan. The plan includes a comprehensive surveillance program that is science-based and will be able to identify the disease-transmitting mosquitoes and their gender versus nuisance mosquitoes. Efforts are made to disseminate new information as quickly as possible to our citizens.
Are there any precautions I should take to reduce my risk of getting West Nile virus?
Preventing mosquito bites is the best way to avoid getting West Nile Virus. The Texas Department of State Health Services tells people to remember the "four Ds" of DEET, Dress, Dusk and Dawn, and Drain:
- Apply insect repellent that contains DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide). Be sure to read label instructions. Spray clothing with repellent, as well as exposed skin.
- Dress in long sleeves and long pants when you are outside.
- Stay indoors at dusk and dawn, times when infected mosquitoes are most active.
- Drain standing water in your backyard and neighborhood; old tires, flowerpots, and clogged rain gutters are mosquito-breeding sites.
Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/insect_repellent.htm for detailed precaution recommendations for children and adults.
What to do instead? Consider using alternatives that are non-toxic, but still effective, such as organic alternatives. You may visit www.rodale.com/mosquito-protection for some ideas or other similar websites.
Will the City of Frisco treat areas on private property?
No. The City of Frisco may only treat areas that are publicly-owned and maintained. Private landowners are responsible for all maintenance on their own property. Areas such as subdivision pools are on private property, typically owned by a development company or a homeowner's association and may not be treated by the City of Frisco.
Will birds be shipped for testing?
No, but Health & Food Safety will be documenting certain species when found dead. As recommended by the Texas Department of State Health Services, as well as Collin County and Denton County Health Departments, the City of Frisco does not ship birds for testing. Birds are dead end hosts. If you observe a dead bird that is a mourning dove or an English house sparrow, please send Health & Food Safety a photograph of the bird, along with the location where found, and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. When possible, include the speculum (colored patch on wing) and/or beak.
I have a creek that backs up to my house. Will mosquitoes breed in the water?
Flowing creeks and waterways generally do not contain mosquito larvae, especially when the stormwater is free of yard waste and other pollutants. To learn how you can protect the stormwater click here. Please note that the Texas Department of State Health Services states that creeks and waterways may not be treated.
I see standing water in a drainage easement next to my property. What should I do?
If the water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, please contact the owner of the property, which is frequently a homeowners' association. The owner is responsible for maintaining drainage easements, detention or retention areas. The water is not a breeding ground when one or more of the following is evident:
1. The water is flowing.
2. Fish are present.
3. The water dries up within 72 hours of a rainfall.
Does the City of Frisco spray for mosquitoes?
The City's plan includes details of when spraying should be considered. The City follows recommendations from the CDC's Integrated Pest Management Plan. Click here to find the City of Frisco's Mosquito SurveilLance and Response Plan
When the City does spray, what area(s) will be sprayed and at what times?
Spraying will be implemented based on the Integrated Pest Management criteria: Time of year, current level of mosquito activity, weather, and surveillance results. One positive mosquito or human case will initiate control measures appropriate to the applicable conditions in an attempt to stop or slow transmission. Frisco will spray between 1/2 mile to 1 mile radius of the affected area, depending on population density. Frisco will spray areas two days consecutively. The application truck will drive streets of areas noted from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
What is the chemical the third-party contractor would use when spraying?
Kontrol 4 x 4. The chemical manufacturer is Masterline. Visit Masterline's website for additional information at http://masterline.com
How will the city alert the public of areas to be sprayed?
The City of Frisco uses multiple communication avenues listed below.
- The home page of friscotexas.gov lists all current alerts and press releases issued by the city.
- Residents may sign-up for the city's e-News service to have City of Frisco news emailed to them.
- 'Follow' us on Twitter or 'like' us on Facebook.
- Frisco Television Network (FTVN) is broadcast locally on Grande Channel 12, Time Warner Digital Channel 16, AT&T U-verse Channel 99 and Verizon FIOS Channel 37, or watch it live online.
In the community:
The City of Frisco may also use lighted message boards for major thoroughfares and use vinyl signs for minor streets and subdivisions.
Can I request that my residence/neighborhood be sprayed?
Not at this time.
What precautions should I take when the city does spray?
It is recommended you stay indoors during application, bring pets indoors and refresh outdoor animal water devices the next morning. Koi ponds and organic gardens should be covered.
Can the applicator turn off the sprayer at my house if I request so?
No. We ask that citizens concerned about the spraying take individual precautions to stay indoors and to close doors and windows. Research has shown the droplet size emitted by the sprayer does not penetrate readily into a structure.
I live behind/just outside the radius circle noted. Will my house receive overspray?
We cannot guarantee that wind drift will not occur.
I jog at night. What do I do if I see the fogging truck?
The truck operator will turn off the sprayer if people are outdoors, and the sprayer will remain off until a safe distance is met. The chemical manufacturers require avoidance of direct exposure with the spray.
Will the chemicals affect my car, patio furniture or pool water?
The spray produces a very fine mist of less than 20 microns. There is no evidence suggesting adverse effects of stationery objects. Pool water, if properly filtrated, will be unaffected.
What can I do to help eliminate mosquitoes from my yard?
At this time, the Texas Department of State Health Services recommends residents not allow water to stagnate. Citizens can help by being diligent and removing all sources of stagnant water on their property. Areas to look include french drains, gutters, old tires, flowerpots, trash containers, swimming pools, bird baths, pet bowls, etc. Citizens may actively treat areas of stagnant water on their property, not to include creeks and other protected waterways. Mosquito larvicidal treatments can be purchased at feed stores and home improvement centers.
For questions concerning areas maintained by the City of Frisco that contain areas of stagnant water, please contact the Public Works Department at (972) 292-5800.
Texas Department of State Health Services – Obtain a printable copy of the West Nile Virus Information Packet at: HTTP://WWW.DSHS.STATE.TX.US/IDCU/DISEASE/ARBOVIRAL/WESTNILE/INFORMATION/GENERAL
Collin County Health Department at: http://www.co.collin.tx.us/healthcare_services/index.jsp or call
Denton County Health Department at: www.dentoncounty.com/wnv or call West Nile Virus hotline at (940) 349-2907.
For more information, contact the Health & Food Safety Division of the City of Frisco at: (972) 292-5304.