From Staff Reports

The recent detection of mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus in the general area has

resulted in the initiation of an aggressive plan for mosquito control in Prosper, according to Code Compliance Officer Trish Eller.

"The best defense against West Nile Virus is controlling the mosquitoes that carry the disease, and the best way to defend against mosquitoes is to eliminate their breeding areas," she said.

That effort to eliminate the insects’ breeding sites is the basis for the program, under both the Code Compliance and Public Works Departments.

Public Works Director Frank Jaromin, P.E., has instructed his crews to be vigilant for standing water in Town-

owned facilities. Crews are to empty the receptacles and where possible, turn them over or cap them.

"Any puddle or small collection of water is a potential breeding area for mosquitoes, and we want to make sure, to the extent possible, we eliminate those area within Town facilities. And, of course, we encourage residents to do the same," he said.

Where draining is not practical or possible, Town staffers will drop larvicide tablets into small water collections.

These tablets, more commonly called dunks, are designed to kill off the larvae chemically for about 30 days. Each dunk covers some 100 square feet of water surface.

To assist homeowners in this effort, the Town will provide packets containing two dunks to residents who

request them in person at Town Hall, 121 W. Broadway in the downtown area. 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:

"We can win the battle, but only if we arm ourselves with the right weapons. Larvicide dunks, the five Ds and common sense will help us be better prepared for the long fight," concluded Eller.