Rockwall, Texas – The City of Rockwall is encouraging residents to take proactive steps during the hot summer months to help protect against mosquito-borne illness. Mosquitoes are worst especially at dusk and dawn, and they can spread illnesses such as West Nile virus and Zika. Here are a few ways to reduce exposure:
Currently no confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus have been found within the City of Rockwall. If you would like to report an area with stagnant water that you request to be treated, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep in mind, that the City is only able to treat stagnant water on public property. For additional information, visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/wnv_factsheet.htm
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can I protect myself against mosquito bites?
A: The Texas Department of State Health Services recommends that screens on doors and windows be in good condition and that you use personal protection. Personal protection includes dressing to minimize exposed skin, wearing insect repellent and avoiding the outdoors during the hours of dawn and dusk (6 a.m. to 9 a.m. or 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.) which is when mosquitoes that have been identified as possibly carrying the disease are out. It also includes identifying areas of your property that may have stagnant water.
Q: What insect repellents should I use?
A: The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends adults wear repellent that contains 30 percent of the ingredient DEET to be most effective against the mosquitoes that carry WNV. However, lesser amounts of DEET products may be used with repeat applications during outdoor time periods as specified on the CDC website.
Q: Can small children apply chemicals to their skin? What is recommended?
A: The CDC states that precautions should be taken with insect repellent for children of certain ages. Parents with questions or concerns about repellents should consult their family physician. Most doctors can direct you to other resources that explain alternatives to the active ingredients found in most repellents.
Q: How can I find out what cases have been reported?
A: Please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services West Nile Virus website for information regarding this area.
Q: Will the City of Rockwall fog areas on private property?
A: No, the City of Rockwall may only fog areas that are publicly owned and maintained. Private landowners are responsible for all maintenance on their own property. Areas such as subdivision pools are on private property, typically owned by a development company or a homeowner’s association and may not be fogged by the City.
Q: What is the City of Rockwall doing about West Nile Virus?
A: The City treats stagnant water with a larvicide. This is an integral part of the approach recommended by the CDC in minimizing the number of mosquitoes in our area. The City also conducts a mosquito surveillance program by trapping and testing mosquitoes for West Nile Virus. Mosquitoes are a direct indicator of human illness risk when it comes to West Nile Virus.
Q: What precautions should I take when the City does spray?
A: It is recommended you stay indoors during application, bring pets indoors and refresh outdoor animal water containers the next morning. Notify the City if you have an outdoor pond or water feature that contains aquatic wildlife.
Q: What can I do to help eliminate mosquitoes from my yard?
A: At this time, the Texas Department of State Health Services recommends residents not allow water to stagnate. Citizens can help by removing sources of stagnant water on their property. Areas to check include french drains, gutters, old tires, flowerpots, trash containers, swimming pools, bird baths and pet bowls. Citizens may actively treat areas of stagnant water on their property, not including creeks and other protected waterways. Mosquito larvicidal treatments can be purchased at feed stores and home improvement centers.
Q: What should I do if I see a dead bird?
A: Birds die from many causes. West Nile Virus primarily impacts crows and blue jays. Plastic gloves should be worn and hands washed after disposal. Carcasses may be disposed in your regular collection trash can after it has been placed in a bag and secured.
Q: Will birds be shipped for testing?
A: As recommended by the Texas Department of State Health Services the City does not ship birds for testing. Birds are dead end hosts. Efforts are concentrated on mosquito surveillance and testing at this time.
Q: I have a creek that backs up to my house. Will mosquitoes breed in the water?
A: Flowing creeks and waterways do not generally contain mosquito larvae.