Duncanville Not Participating in Dallas County Aerial Spraying

Filed under: City |

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins confirmed today in Commissioners Court that after reviewing extensive research and data on the options available in the battle against the spread of West Nile Virus (WNV), Dallas County would go forward with the request for aerial resources for the Aerial Spraying phase of our West Nile Virus response. After hearing the recommendations of experts from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Dallas County Medical Society (DCMS) Judge Jenkins said that he was convinced of the safety and efficacy of Aerial Spraying as the best way to combat WNV for the protection of the citizens of Dallas County.

Duncanville City Manager Dan O’Leary confirmed on Wednesday that Duncanville will not be participating in the Dallas County aerial spraying at this time. Duncanville joined Cedar Hill, Cockrell Hill, DeSoto, Irving, Lancaster and Sachse in electing to not take part in the aerial spraying.

Dallas joined Richardson, Farmers Branch, Carrollton, Coppell, Hutchins and Grand Prairie on Wednesday to okay aerial spraying to kill mosquitoes. Garland, Highland Park, University Park, Mesquite and Addison had already approved the plan. “I think this is the right thing to do,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “I cannot have any more deaths on my conscience because we didn’t take action.”

Zach Thompson, Dallas County Health Director, is concerned that ground spraying from trucks isn’t doing enough to to curb the spread of the West Nile Virus. “We’re in a fight we can’t win on the ground,” he said.

Dallas County is the epicenter of the WNV nationwide, comprising a full 27% of the country’s West Nile cases.  So far this season Dallas County has reported 190 cases of the WNV infection with 10 confirmed deaths to date.  In light of the escalating fatality rate and the extreme health risk represented by this season’s WNV outbreak, Judge Jenkins said “The decision was not an easy one but the top experts with the CDC and the state as well as our Dallas County Medical Society were unanimous that the aerial spraying is safe and more effective than the truck based spraying … aerial spraying will provide superior uniformity and kill mosquitoes in the back yards and other areas that trucks cannot reach. This is a complex and fast evolving outbreak and it is critical that, at minimum, that we place all possible resources at the disposal of our municipalities to protect their residents.”

Since Texas is a Home-Rule state, each city north of I-30 will have until 5pm Wednesday, August 15th to confirm their desire to aerial spray.  Aerial Spraying is just one aspect of Dallas County’s multi-faceted integrated approach to eradicating the spread of the virus.

Aerial spraying is a very effective and safe way to kill adult mosquitoes in large, densely populated areas. We understand that many people have specific concerns regarding exposure during aerial spraying; for those people, health officials suggest the following precautions:

  • Minimize exposure. Avoid being outside, close windows and consider keeping pets inside while spraying occurs.
  • If skin or clothes are exposed, wash them with soap and water.
  • Rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables with water as a general precautionary measure.
  • Cover small ornamental fish ponds.
  • Because the chemical breaks down quickly in sunlight and water, no special precautions are suggested for outdoor swimming areas.

DSHS contracts with Clarke, a private environmental products and services company, for aerial application of mosquito control products. The type of insecticide used in aerial spraying (DUET) has been selected after careful consideration due to its efficacy in killing mosquitoes while posing minimal risk to humans, agriculture and other animal life.  The product is labeled and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in outdoor and residential areas. The active ingredients are in the same chemical family as products currently being used for ground spraying in the Dallas area. The product would be applied at very low dosages – less than an ounce per acre – by small, twin-engine aircrafts flying at approximately 300 feet above ground overnight.

The county will provide maps outlining each city which has opted in as soon as we get those confirmations.  Below are links for information on DUET, the insecticide which will be used in the aerial spraying and other preventative information and Aerial Spraying FAQs for public education purposes.

As always, the first line of defense to prevent infection of the WNV is to avoid getting bitten in the first place.  We urge citizens to be proactive by employing the 4-Ds of personal prevention:

DEET – use insect repellents that contain DEET, or any other EPA approved insect repellent

DRESS – Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing outside during dusk and dawn hours.

DRAIN – Remove all areas of standing water.  Change water in wading pools, pet dishes and birdbaths several times a week.

DUSK/DAWN – Protect yourself during dusk and dawn hours

For more up-to-date information about infected mosquito pools, control efforts and prevention tips, subscribe to West Nile Watch by sending an email request to westnile@dallascounty.org or log onto http://www.dallascounty.org/westnilevirus.  Dallas County HHS Newsletter:

Contact Information: Judge Clay Jenkins

Regarding Dallas County, contact
Maria Arita, PIO

Regarding DUET, the State (DSHS) contact
Carrie Williams, Director Media Relations

Regarding Clarke/Dynamic Aviation, Staging/Media Ops for Aerial Process, contact
Laura McGowan, Communications Director

Additional Information:
West Nile Virus FAQs
Aerial Application FAQs
Duet FAQs

3 Responses to Duncanville Not Participating in Dallas County Aerial Spraying

  1. There is supposed to be a meeting today, Thursday, to discuss this issue further.

    K. Wolf
    Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm

  2. I checked with the City and City Manager Dan O’Leary is attending a meeting with Dallas County and the city will have some updated information this afternoon. As soon as I get that info I’ll update the story. Thanks for the information.

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm

  3. Duncanville is not participating as of right now. The City Council will be discussing possible actions at their next council meeting scheduled for August 21. We are expecting more information from city staff later this afternoon. As soon as we get the info we will be updating the story.

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm