Skip to page body Home Residents Businesses Visitors Government Services Departments I Want To...
Spraying

The Health Department schedules mosquito spraying based on positive findings of West Nile virus in mosquito traps placed around the city. Once located, the area around the positive finding is targeted for spraying on back-to-back nights (weather permitting) to help limit the spread of disease. Spraying is only one measure to help limit exposure, and health workers urge people to maintain vigilance in protecting themselves when going outside.

Surveillance

The City of Richardson Health Department has an established mosquito surveillance program in place to monitor mosquito populations in the community for the presence of West Nile virus or other mosquito borne illnesses.

Using traps designed for mosquito collection, the Health Department regularly collects mosquito samples from geographically dispersed locations throughout the community. These samples are submitted to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Dallas County Health and Human Services, and private epidemiology laboratories for analysis.

The Health Department also works closely with the Dallas County Health Department to monitor for the incidence of mosquito borne illness in the human population. Mosquito control personnel from Dallas County also keep local health departments apprised of mosquito-borne illnesses throughout the county through e-mails and other forms of communication. The Health Department also communicates with local health departments in neighboring communities.

If aerial spraying occurs, what actions do I need to take?

The pesticide used degrades rapidly in the environment, and there is no accumulative or residual effect. However, for people concerned about exposure during aerial spraying, health officials suggest the following precautions:

  • Minimize exposure. Avoid being outside, close windows and consider keeping pets inside while spraying occurs.
  • 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.
When does spraying occur?

The Health Department schedules spraying events during overnight hours to limit exposure to people who may wish to avoid contact with the pesticide used to control mosquito populations. Spraying events begin at 9 p.m. with the goal of ending by 4 a.m., depending upon the size of the spray area.

How is the public notified when spraying is planned?

The City uses several communication tools to inform the public about planned spraying events. News releases are sent to local media and posted on the City website; information is sent electronically to homeowners associations and neighborhood associations, as well as to subscribers of the Week In Review/City News e-notification list; and information is posted on the Richardson Today Facebook and Twitter. The City will also post on NextDoor to those areas affected by sprayings.

Can I request for my neighborhood to be sprayed?

Health Department staff sprays only targeted areas. Targeted areas include areas where West Nile virus has been isolated in a mosquito sample or if a case of illness is suspected or confirmed in humans. Since spraying does not eliminate all mosquitoes, it is important that citizens do what they can to protect themselves and that mosquito breeding sources around the home be eliminated. If spraying is indicated, the Health Department applies an EPA-approved pesticide with a low toxicity. Spraying events begin at 9 p.m. with the goal of ending by 4 a.m., depending upon the size of the spray area.

Is spraying for mosquitoes safe?

The City utilizes an ultra-low volume fogger that disperses pesticide, following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines, which is effective at reducing mosquito populations and is sensitive to the environment.

Spraying is typically conducted using ground-based foggers mounted in trucks. However, in certain emergency situations aerial-based spraying is considered a safe and effective way to control mosquitoes in larger geographical areas.

The City uses a product called Aqualuer 20-20, a water-soluble synthetic permethrin. Aqualuer 20-20 is an effective yet environmentally sensitive product, and equipment is calibrated in keeping with the pesticide's label for application requirements as required by law. Pesticides that are used for mosquito control have been judged by the EPA not to pose an unreasonable risk to human health. People who are concerned about exposure to a pesticide, such as those with chemical sensitivity or breathing conditions such as asthma, can reduce their potential for exposure by staying indoors during the application period.

The Health Department schedules spraying events during overnight hours to limit exposure to people who may wish to avoid contact with the pesticide used to control mosquito populations. Spraying events begin at 9 p.m. with the goal of ending by 4 a.m., depending upon the size of the spray area.

Goal
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
Last updated: 7/19/2017 12:39:05 PM