DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – The City of Dallas has a new, more aggressive plan to combat mosquitoes and the West Nile Virus this year, following an unprecedented outbreak in 2012.
Joey Zapata, assistant Dallas city manager, outlined the new plan at a council briefing Monday.
The bottom line, he said, was a prevention ahead of the upcoming mosquito season.
This year, the city will roll out a public education campaign, including public service announcements on television, radio, social media and email blasts, beginning April 1st, instead of May, which is the beginning of mosquito season.
The city is also tripling the number of mosquito traps they plan to distribute from 30 to 90. Results from lab tests will also be received in about half the time, from 10-14 to 5-7 days, which will give the city more accurate and timely information about where mosquitoes are breeding.
Dunk tablets will be distributed to residents in limited qualities for those who live in areas where standing water cannot be drained.
Also, complaints of standing water will be addressed more quickly this year.
“Before, we would give staff about 10 days to respond to a standing water complaints. Last season, during the outbreak, we changed that to one day and it worked, so we are going to continue doing that,” Zapata said.
The also includes adding one more pesticide sprayer truck, giving it 5 trucks total.
The city has also been testing traps even during the colder months, which it had not done in previous years. So far this year, there have been no traps that have tested positive for West Nile Virus.
A new emergency operation plan in case of an outbreak will also be created this month.
The bottom line this year is prevention, Zapata said, by dumping standing water and not allowing standing water to form.
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