Aerial spraying continues tonight

On Sunday evening, four planes covered the remaining 226,000 acres to complete the first round of application in those areas of Dallas County participating in aerial spraying. Weather permitting, five planes will apply a second round of insecticide tonight to the entire target area of 362,328 acres.

Spraying will begin at 9 p.m. today in the city of Dallas, earlier in other participating cities. Residents in all neighborhoods of Dallas should expect spraying to occur sometime between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Since the insecticide Duet only kills adult mosquitoes, the second round of spraying is intended to kill larvae that have hatched since the first spraying.

Representatives from the Centers for Disease Control will be in North Texas this week, surveying and analyzing the region’s efforts to combat the West Nile Virus and will make recommendations on how to proceed.

“Now that the aerial assault is showing positive preliminary results, we need to expand our assault on the ground and enlist residents to join the fight by draining standing water to cut off mosquito breeding grounds,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said in a release. “It only takes a little soil, compost or a few leaves, and water that stands stagnant for 1-2 weeks, to breed mosquitoes.”

—  David Taffet

UPDATE: Aerial spraying for remainder of Dallas begins at 9 p.m. Friday

UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.: Dallas City Councilwoman Angela Hunt forwarded a note from city staff saying crews will spray the entire city of Dallas on Friday night and Saturday morning, with the exception of the area that was sprayed Thursday night. Spraying will begin at 9 p.m. Friday. If everything goes as planned, Friday night’s spraying will complete the first application for the city of Dallas. However, two applications will be required. The second application will be conducted two days after the first spraying to kill mosquitoes missed on the first spray as well as those that hatch within two days. The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Friday night’s application will also include Coppell, Addison, Carollton, Richardson, Farmers Branch, Garland, Mesquite (north of IH-30) and Grand Prairie.

ORIGINAL POST:

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that crews will spray the entire city of Dallas on Friday night and Saturday morning, with the exception of the area that’s already been sprayed. Crews will also spray Carollton, Addison, Richardson, Farmers Branch, Garland, part of Mesquite and Grand Prairie.

The city of Dallas just posted the above map showing, in pink, the area two planes were able to spray with the Duet pesticide Thursday night in an effort to kill mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus. According to the city, a rain system moved into the area at midnight, prompting them to halt spraying, which had been scheduled to continue until 3 a.m.  They watched the radar until 2 a.m., at which point the remainder of the mission was postponed. A total of 52,352 acres were sprayed, or a little over half the 100,845-acre target area for Thursday night. The city says four planes will be ready to spray Friday night. They presumably will attempt to finish the target area from last night, meaning they’ll be spraying in Far East Dallas, Mesquite and Garland. However, it’s unclear whether they’ll attempt to spray additional areas. Tonight’s forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of rain, mainly after 1 a.m. As we’ve noted, the spraying could be especially dangerous for people with compromised immune systems, including those with HIV/AIDS. Here again is that list of precautions recommended by the city:

• Minimize exposure. Avoid being outside, close windows and keep pets inside.

• 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.

—  John Wright

Aerial mosquito spraying could pose risks to people with HIV/AIDS

People with HIV/AIDS are at greater risk of developing severe complications from West Nile Virus, which has led to 10 deaths in Dallas County this summer. But people with HIV/AIDS could also face greater risk from exposure to the chemicals used in aerial spraying to combat the virus.

“The same people they’re trying to protect are the same people who are sensitive to the chemicals being dropped,” said Bret Camp, health services director for Resource Center Dallas.

One open letter signed by 26 doctors and other experts in 2001 said the chemical agents used in aerial spraying contain neurotoxins and can be dangerous to the treated area. The letter, distributed by groups opposed to mosquito spraying in New York City, specifically listed “immunosuppressed individuals, such as patients with AIDS and cancer,” among those who may be especially vulnerable.

“INDISCRIMINATE AND UNNECESSARY SPRAYING OF ‘FRIENDLY FIRE’ PESTICIDES, ESPECIALLY IN HEAVILY POPULATED URBAN AREAS, IS FAR MORE DANGEROUS TO HUMAN HEALTH AND THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT THAN WEST NILE VIRUS,” the letter states. “THE HEALTH OF MANY PEOPLE IS DETERIORATING AND WILL FURTHER DETERIORATE, SOMETIMES SERIOUSLY, AS A RESULT OF EXPOSURE TO ‘FRIENDLY FIRE PESTICIDES’ USED IN THE CHEMICAL WAR AGAINST MOSQUITOES. THOSE WHO ARE ESPECIALLY VULNERABLE INCLUDE CHILDREN, THE OFFSPRING OF PREGNANT WOMEN, CHEMICALLY SENSITIVE OR IMMUNO-SUPPRESSED INDIVIDUALS, SUCH AS PATIENTS WITH AIDS AND CANCER, AND THOSE SUFFERING WITH ASTHMA AND OTHER ALLERGIES.”

—  admin