From Staff Reports

Intended to arm residents with the most reliable, science-based information on the West Nile Virus, the specific breed of mosquito that carries the disease and how to fight the infection, the Town of Prosper has scheduled a community informational meeting on this topic on Monday, June 24, according to Code Compliance Officer Trish Eller.

"We’re bringing in speakers from the Entex Pest Solutions of North Texas. These are trained experts with entomology backgrounds who have spent their professional careers studying and learning about the disease and its carrier. They have established a web site called www.Municipalmosquito.com that has information on West Nile Virus and how to protect against it," she said.

The one-hour meeting is free and open to the public and will be held at the Prosper Municipal Chambers, 108 W. Broadway in the downtown area starting at 6 p.m. Following the presentation, a question and answer session will be held to provide further information to attendees.

In addition to the seminar, the Town continues to actively monitor and drain areas with standing and stagnant water. Where draining is not practical or possible, staff members drop larvicide tablets into the water. These tablets, more commonly called dunks, are designed to kill off the larvae for about 30 days. Each dunk covers some 100 square feet of water surface.

To assist homeowners in this effort, the Town is providing packets containing a pair of dunks to residents who request them in person at Town Hall, 121 W. Broadway. Packets are limited to one per household per month, and proof of residency will be required when requesting the dunk packets. Residents may request additional packets every 30 days, if needed. There is no charge for the packets. Additional dunks can be purchased at garden and hardware stores.

Even so, Eller continues to emphasize the enactment the "five Ds" of personal protection. "Of course, the five Ds are the best way to fight off the virus, and everyone, especially children and the elderly, should practice them on a daily basis," she said.

The five Ds include: DRAIN—all areas of standing water including changing water in wading pools, bird baths, cleaning out gutters, and not allowing water to stagnate in old tires, flowerpots, trash containers, pet bowls; DEET—Use insect repellents that contain DEET or are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control; DRESS—Dress in light- colored clothing with long sleeves and pants; DUSK/DAWN—Limit outdoor exposure at dusk and dawn; DOORS—Keep door and window screens in good repair.

More information on West Nile Virus can be obtained at:

http://www.co.collin.tx.us/healthcare_services/west_nile/west_nile.jsp. In Denton County, information can be obtained at: www.dentoncounty.com/wnv/.