The City of Irving has an active program for assessing the numbers and types of mosquitoes in various neighborhoods. Each week, a mosquito-control technician sets out approximately five traps throughout the city. The number of mosquitoes trapped at each location is logged, and each trap net's catch (called a "pool" of mosquitoes) is shipped to the state health department's laboratory in Austin for testing. Mosquitoes are tested for the West Nile Virus (WNV), St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) and several other mosquito-borne viruses. To report stagnant water or request a trap to sample mosquitoes, call the City of Irving's Vector Control Hotline at (972) 721-3755.
Both the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, and the Texas Department of State Health Services in Austin have written guidelines and regulations that relate to municipalities’ and county governments’ use of airborne pesticides (truck-mounted sprayers or aircraft-mounted sprayers). This form of mosquito control is known as “adulticiding” or killing adult mosquitoes. Though most U.S. cities used adulticiding throughout the latter half of the twentieth century to reduce “nuisance” mosquitoes (those species that bite humans but normally don’t carry disease), nuisance spraying is heavily discouraged by state and federal health officials. Irving has adopted the recommendations of the CDC when deciding when to send its vector control technician out at night to use the truck-mounted adulticiding unit. These guidelines are as follows:
- When a particular trap location has over 50 female mosquitoes in one night of trapping
- When a mosquito pool (one trap’s catch of mosquitoes) has tested positive for either WNV or SLE
- When the county or state health department reports a suspected human case of WNV or SLE in Irving
- When the county or state health department reports a confirmed human case of WNV or SLE in Irving
Mosquito/West Nile Virus Control Information Center