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Mosquito Control Starts Early


It may seem atypical for North Texans to discuss mosquitoes during winter, but that is exactly what Irving's Mosquito Control Manager Walter Ritchie is doing. During the unusually active mosquito season of 2012, Ritchie's appearances on Irving Community Television Network, KXAS-TV (Channel 5) and other local media helped him become known as the region’s go-to guy for vector control issues.

Today, Ritchie continues to field requests for lectures from leaders at neighborhood associations, civic groups as well as neighboring North Texas governments. Among the places Ritchie has visited in recent months is the Town of Highland Park.

"It's huge for us to hear from agencies outside to bring in their expertise and to hear what works and what hasn’t worked," said Sgt. Lance Koppa of the Highland Park Department of Public Safety. "It helps us develop a plan for action for 2013."

According to Ritchie, Irving's plan to keep residents safe and mosquitoes at bay is already in place. Core tenets of the 2013 plan include the early launch of a public education campaign, providing more community presentations and employing new mapping technology that will assist with the location of mosquito hot spots.

"We also will be monitoring the weather patterns and we’ll be prepared for the worst case scenario,” said Ritchie. “If it doesn’t happen, then good for all of us, but we will be prepared.”

To request a presentation on mosquito control for a civic group, school or business, call (972) 721-2501. Residents also are encouraged to report stagnant water or mosquito activity to the city's 24/7 mosquito hotline at (972) 721-3755.

Posted Jan. 21

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