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No WNV Spraying In Bedford, Despite Positive Mosquito Tests

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BEDFORD (CBSDFW.COM) – Friday night crews were getting ready to battle West Nile Virus in Highland Village. The Denton County city found an infected mosquito in one of its three traps. Dallas and Richardson also had crews out Friday.

More than any other area, health officials have found more mosquitoes with West Nile in Tarrant County. The City of Bedford has had the most positive mosquito tests — double the number of any other city in the county.

Despite those numbers the city refuses to spray for West Nile. Officials say they don’t think spraying is effective – at least not ground spraying.

CBS 11 News did learn that Bedford has used backpack sprayers in creek beds and up into the trees. But that spraying has a limited reach and at most is done twice a month.

Around shallow creeks, and shaded neighborhoods, Bedford has trapped 14 West Nile positive mosquitoes this season. City work crews have trimmed back grass and treated the water. But some residents say they can tell spraying is not part of the plan.

Homeowner Brad Monroe said, “I’ve never seen the city out here treating it now, and I’m up and down here all the time.”

Since July, residents have gone online to question the decision not the spray.

A post from one person said, “This is so scary! My son got bit so many times on Sunday!”

Another person wrote, “Just spray the city. This is absolutely ridiculous.”

Questions, on whether to spray or not, always increase after a positive mosquito test.

“Definitely in areas where there’s a lot of water and stuff, but with chemicals these days, it’s kind of a double-edged sword, Russian roulette,” resident Cory Claflin to CBS 11. “You don’t know which is worse.”

That’s exactly what Bedford has pointed to. The city’s most recent explanation stated that, “spraying can be unhealthy to people and animals and is ineffective.”

Workers for the City of Bedford said a lot of people complained when spraying was done in 2012. So, the city has used mosquito-eating minnows, and doubled its chemical treatments, to twice a month.

The city is also urging residents to try to combat the problem at home.

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