News Flash

City of Plano Environmental Health

Posted on: May 22, 2018

Battling the Buzz this Summer

Mosquito-Testing-in-Plano

Summer is almost here which means, so is mosquito season. The City of Plano Environmental Health and Sustainability (EHS) team has already begun taking proactive measures to protect Plano residents from mosquitoes.

The City sets mosquito traps every week that are then sent to the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) in Austin to be tested for disease. One of the ways the EHS team lures mosquitoes into their traps is by using dry ice which contains carbon dioxide (CO2). Mosquitoes have receptors that detect CO2 and skin odor. The dry ice simulates a person’s breath which attracts the mosquitoes. These traps also have a light, attracting mosquitos like a moth to a flame. The City will continue to set traps each week, as long as weather permits, from April until the end of October.

Another  measure the City takes is “larviciding,” which is the process of placing insecticide in strategically-targeted locations around Plano that have higher potential for mosquitoes. The EHS team determines which areas to larvicide by looking back at records to see which locations had the highest numbers of mosquitoes in previous years. They also target areas that are known for having standing water such as areas near creeks and streams. Larviciding these areas now helps to disrupt popular places that mosquitoes are likely to breed.

The City of Plano uses a larvicide called Natular G30. Natular is a green-friendly salt-like pesticide commonly used to control mosquito population. In 2010, Natular earned the EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, which recognizes outstanding chemical technologies that incorporate the principles of green chemistry into chemical design, manufacturing, and use that achieve pollution prevention goals.

Below are some simple ways to battle the buzz this summer:

DRESS – Mosquitoes are less attracted to light-colored clothing. Long sleeves and pants will help to keep you from getting bit. For extra protection, spray clothing with mosquito repellant.

DEET – Try to use insect repellent that contains DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) to increase protection. This Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved ingredient is known to provide better defense against mosquitoes. Other natural alternatives include lemon eucalyptus oil, lavender and citronella. Be sure to always follow label instructions when applying repellent.

DRAIN – Help limit the number of places for mosquitoes to breed by draining standing water around your yard and neighborhood. Common places that collect water around the house include trash carts, old tires, flower pots, rain gutters and bird baths. If you have pets, be sure to refresh and replenish your pet’s water bowl. Pool owners are encouraged to maintain their pool properly to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

If you have questions or concerns, you may contact the City of Plano Environmental Health and Sustainability Department at envhealth@plano.gov or call 972-941-7143.

To be notified of mosquito spraying in your neighborhood, sign up for alerts at plano.gov/CityCall

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