About West Nile Virus
Here are some facts and helpful information concerning West Nile Virus:
- West Nile Virus (WNV) is a disease that may occur if a person is bitten by an infected mosquito.
- In areas where the virus has been found, fewer than 1 percent of the mosquitoes actually carry the disease and fewer than 1 percent of people who are bitten and infected become severely ill.
- The Texas Department of State Health Services is no longer soliciting the submittal of dead birds for testing since WNV has been confirmed in the Metroplex area.
- WNV is not contagious, people cannot give it to each other, and no evidence has been found that people can get it by handling animals.
- Mosquitoes get the virus by feeding on birds who have it and then pass it on by biting humans, birds, horses, or other mammals.
- Most people who are infected with WNV do not have any symptoms. Mild symptoms that may appear include low-grade fever and headache. Other symptoms can include swollen lymph glands, high fever, stiff neck, muscle weakness, disorientation, encephalitis, coma, and rarely, death.
- While anyone can get WNV, people over 50 or with compromised immune systems are at the highest risk.
- If you think that you have been infected with WNV, you should contact your family doctor.
Zika Virus Facts
- Zika virus is a disease which may occur if bitten by an infected mosquito.
- Zika virus is not present in our mosquito population.
- The virus is carried by the Aedes mosquito.
- Zika can be spread by sexual contact from an infected man to a woman.
Flower Mound Prevention Methods
Flower Mound makes an effort to control mosquitoes in the area:
- Mosquito larvae live and thrive in standing, stagnant water. Therefore, Flower Mound attacks the mosquito problem at its source, treating standing water with a larvicide.
- The product used to eradicate the larvae, BTI, is environmentally safe.
- Flower Mound staff works with property owners to identify and treat bodies of standing water to prevent larvae from growing and hatching.
Response to Cases of West Nile Virus
- Environmental Health Services routinely traps and monitors mosquitoes throughout the Town during the spring and summer, and if a mosquito is found to be positive for carrying the West Nile virus, the Town responds by having a licensed mosquito control contractor spray the immediate area where the mosquito was found. Citizens may contact Environmental Health at 972.8746340 if they wish to be added to the "No-Spray" list.
- If the Town receives notification from the Denton County Epidemiologist that an individual has been medically diagnosed as having West Nile virus, mosquito traps are placed and mosquitoes are collected for analysis in the area surrounding the address of the confirmed case, and surveillance activities are increased.
What You Can Do
Here is what you can do to help get rid of mosquitoes and reduce your risk of getting West Nile Virus:
- Call Flower Mound Environmental Health Services at 972.874.6340 for more information or help in treating standing water.
- Check your property for standing water. Check the saucers under potted plants, roof gutters, flat roofs, old tires, toys, garbage cans and dumpsters, anything that might hold water and not be emptied out regularly.
- Clean and change the water regularly (several times per week) in birdbaths, wading pools, pet dishes, and planters.
- Make sure windows/screens and doors/screens are bug-tight.
- Repair any leaky outdoor plumbing.
- Treat any standing water that can't be drained with BTI-available at most home and garden stores.
- Use yellow bug lights in outdoor lighting fixtures.
- Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most likely to be out and about, and use an insect repellent containing DEET to help prevent mosquito bites.
What You Can Do to Protect Bees
- Are you a beekeeper? The insecticides used in the aerial spraying are toxic to honey bees. Thankfully, honey bees in the shelter of their hive, have some protection from night time mosquito spraying. Beekeepers have the option of moving their hives prior to spraying events, or can tent their hives with wet burlap, securing the bottom with rocks—to be removed the next morning. The Town of Flower Mound notifies the Cross Timbers Beekeepers via Facebook notification when spray events are to occur. If you are a beekeeper and would like personal contact, please contact Environmental Health Services, at 972.874.6340.