Billions of people around the world, including Americans, are at risk from viruses and bacteria transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and other vectors. As rapid global travel and changing land use increase, the risk of rare or new vector-borne pathogens to emerging and crossing borders also increases. For example, West Nile virus, which was unknown in the U.S. before 1999, infected 5,674 Americans in 2012.
Vector-borne diseases are especially difficult to predict, prevent or control and only a few have vaccines. Mosquitoes are notoriously difficult to reach and often develop resistance to insecticides. The City of Richardson Health Department works closely with state and federal groups to trap, test and respond to mosquito-borne diseases through targeted sprayings, educational campaigns and preventative measures.
The City practices integrated mosquito control with the intent to disrupt the mosquito life cycle in its early stages to eliminate the number of adults and mosquito breeding habitats through proper water drainage. Mosquito control activities are conducted year-round but are increased from April through October, the most active mosquito season in North Texas.
How to Protect Yourself
Follow the Four D's of protection:
- DRAIN standing water around the home
- Use insect repellent containing DEET
- Avoid being outdoors at DUSK and DAWN
- DRESS to protect yourself with long sleeves and pants