Some mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus (WNV). Mosquitoes only need two tablespoons of water to breed, and water can collect just about anywhere. Each year, the City of Mansfield implements its Mosquito Surveillance Testing Program. The main goal of mosquito control is to decrease the number of adult mosquitoes by eliminating breeding grounds wherever possible. Partner with the City to prevent WNV and protect yourself from mosquitoes by staying informed and getting involved in eliminating breeding sites.
The City is currently at risk level 1
Risk Level 1 - Normal Response
- Condition: Probability of human outbreak is remote.
- Trigger: Normal mosquito activity with no evidence of virus/disease detected during the past 6 weeks in vectors, humans, or other hosts
The best control methods for Level 1 are promoting source reduction and personal protection. Conduct standard larviciding approaches. No adulticide spraying will occur at this response level.
Risk Level 2 - Enhanced Response
- Condition: Low to moderate probability of human outbreak.
- Trigger: Normal mosquito activity with little or no evidence of virus/disease; trapped mosquitoes test positive for West Nile and indicate that exposure likely occurred locally; enhanced response level is due to the recent historical presence of West Nile in vectors, humans, or other hosts within the vicinity of Mansfield (approximately 10 miles).
Risk Level 3 - Public Health Warning
- Condition: Moderate to high probability of human outbreak.
- Trigger: Multiple mosquito pools collected at different times and locations test positive for West Nile. Probable human or equine cases reported by laboratory testing.
Risk Level 4 - Public Health Alert
- Condition: Multiple human cases are confirmed.
- Trigger: Multiple human cases confirmed by laboratory testing and continued viral mosquito activity.
Mosquito control must be a shared responsibility in order for abatement to be successful. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are things you can do around your home or business to reduce the mosquito population and eliminate breeding sites. All residents are encouraged to continue to follow the 4D's of personal protection throughout the mosquito season. Personal protection and elimination of breeding habitat are the best, most cost effective means of mosquito control. Individual residents are the only ones who can ensure these steps are taken.
What to Look For
The following are several examples of things you can look for, keeping in mind that any source of standing or stagnant water can be a potential breeding location. The CDC (English), CDC (Spanish) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend steps you can take to control mosquitoes indoors and outdoors:
- Repair leaky plumbing, outdoor faucets, sprinklers and septic systems.
- Change water in birdbaths, wading pools, pet dishes and plant drip trays at least once every two days.
- Dispose of any items that may hold water and serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. These include old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools and other containers that can hold water. If they must be stored make sure they are covered or turned over to where water cannot collect in them.
- Remove leaves and debris from rain gutters. The leaves hold water in the gutter and are a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Keep grass cut short and shrubs well trimmed.
- Keep backyard swimming pools maintained.
- Irrigate lawns carefully to prevent over watering which can cause water to stand for several days.
- Survey your property for areas that hold water and do not drain well.
- Stock ornamental ponds with mosquito eating fish.
- Remember not all bodies of water are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Flowing creeks and waterways generally do not contain mosquito larvae.
- Use larvicide in areas of standing water. Bacillus thuringien sis israelenis (Bti)is a biological larvicide control used to treat areas of standing water. It is used to eliminate the mosquito larva but will not kill the adult mosquito. Bti comes in tablets or donut shaped discs and is available at most home improvement or feed stores. Saccharopolyphora spinosa or Spinosad is another commonly used biological larvicide control that can be used to treat containerized water sources. Citizens may actively treat areas of stagnant water on their own property, not to include creeks and other protected waterways. The City is offering free Spinosad tablet packs on a first come first served basis at the Chris W. Burkett Service Center, 620 S. Wisteria St., Monday - Friday, from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Larvicide packs are limited to one per household while supplies last.
The Four D's
There are some things you and your family can do for your own personal protection. The Tarrant County Public Health suggests understanding and following the four Ds to help protect yourself from mosquitoes and reduce the risk:
- Dusk to Dawn is the timeframe when mosquitoes likely to carry infection are most active. Stay indoors from dusk to dawn.
- Drain standing water in your yard and neighborhood. Old tires, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, leaky pipes and faucets, birdbaths and wading pools can be breeding sites for mosquitoes.
- Dress in light-colored long sleeves and pants when you are outside, especially in mosquito infested areas.
- Deet (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) should be used if you are going to be outside when mosquitoes are most active. Make sure you apply insect repellant that contains Deet, and read and follow label instructions. Spray both exposed skin and clothing with repellent when outdoors.
- Mosquito bite prevention advice from the CDC.
West Nile Information
Every mosquito bite does not cause West Nile Virus. Very few mosquitoes carry the virus and less than 1 percent of the bites that do have the virus actually cause serious illness. For more information on the West Nile Virus, you may visit the following sites:
- CDC West Nile Virus
- Tarrant County Interactive Mosquito Surveillance Map
- Tarrant County Public Health - Be Mosquito Free
- Texas Department of Health
All animals, including mosquitoes, need three things to survive – food, water and shelter. If we eliminate one of the three, mosquitoes cannot survive.
There are many ways to prevent mosquitoes from ruining your summer and feasting on your flesh. The first step is to find and eliminate mosquito breeding grounds from your property. You can eliminate many of these spots by draining or dumping standing water, filling items with sand or gravel, or by turning over or covering places that catch water.
If your mosquito problems are more severe, try some DIY mosquito control ideas from Texas A & M, the CDC (English) , CDC (Spanish) and check out Tarrant County Public Health's Be Mosquito Free videos and tips.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that understanding the risks and preventing mosquitoes from breeding are the best and most practical means of keeping you and your family safe from mosquito-borne threats. Partner with the City to reduce the risk of West Nile Virus and protect yourself from mosquitoes.
City staff work in conjunction with the Tarrant County Public Health Department to battle mosquito borne diseases. As noted in the Mosquito Control Policy (PDF), managing mosquitoes takes an integrated approach outlined below:
The City of Mansfield participates in the Surveillance/Testing Program in conjunction with the Tarrant County Health Department. Live mosquitoes are captured with traps that can be moved to targeted locations throughout the City. The captured mosquitoes are sent to the county laboratory for testing for the presence of West Nile Virus.
The City of Mansfield has ordinances on tall grass and stagnant water. If you are concerned an area is a breeding site for mosquitoes, contact Public Works at 817-728-3340.
Maintenance of Public Areas
The City of Mansfield maintains major rights-of-way and public properties, mowing grass as appropriate. We will address standing water and place larvicide in these areas as needed.
Mosquito Control Policy
The Mansfield City Council has adopted a Mosquito Control Policy based on four risk levels (PDF). The levels range from low, where no positive tests for mosquitoes have occurred, to high, where a positive human case has been confirmed. Each level has a different response and City staff will vigilantly monitor any potential for an outbreak to ensure the safety of Mansfield residents. Details are in the Mosquito Control Policy (PDF).
Ground Spraying Product
The primary objective of mosquito control is to decrease the risk of mosquito‐borne human diseases. This objective should be accomplished by:
- Continuing to stress source reduction as a viable means of control.
- Larviciding where such activities are feasible, practical, and likely to be effective.
- Using personal mosquito protection measures, especially for the elderly and those individuals with compromised immune systems.
Adult mosquito control procedures, particularly spraying of adulticides, should and will be considered a supplemental control measure of last resort. Read more information from the CDC on spraying: What You Need to Know About Using Adulticides Fact Sheet, What You Need to Know About Truck Spraying Factsheet and Mosquito Ground Spraying Products .
Mosquito Spraying Schedule
The City of Mansfield, in conjunction with the Tarrant County Health Department, participates in mosquito surveillance and testing each April to November (or until the first freeze). The decision to spray is based on positive samples for West Nile Virus found in Mansfield and/or adjacent communities, notifications from Tarrant County Public Health, and the time of year.
Residents may also sign-up for email or text notification through Notify Me.
For more information about mosquito-borne illness, please review these frequently asked questions (PDF).
Mosquito Spraying Schedule
The City of Mansfield, in conjunction with the Tarrant County Health Department, participates in mosquito surveillance and testing each April to November (or until the first freeze). The decision to spray is based on multiple conditions including significant increases in mosquitos, positive samples for West Nile Virus found in Mansfield and/or adjacent communities, notifications from Tarrant County Public Health, and the time of year.
The City will post all notifications of spray events and maps of their locations as they are scheduled through the City website, Facebook, Nextdoor, Twitter, and the City Newsroom. Residents may also sign up for email or text notification through Notify Me. Please watch social media or check the City’s website for updates should there be a change in the spraying schedule due to weather.
Notice of Upcoming Spray Areas
There is no currently scheduled spraying.
All residents are encouraged to continue to practice personal protection throughout the mosquito season regardless of surveillance results. Tarrant County Public Health suggests understanding and following the four Ds to help protect yourself from mosquitoes:
- Dusk to Dawn - stay indoors when mosquitoes are active
- Drain - standing water in your yard where water might collect in places like flower pots, toys, clogged rain gutters and wading pools
- Dress - in light-colored long sleeves and pants
- DEET - apply repellant when outdoors
Personal protection and elimination of breeding habitat are the best, most cost effective means of mosquito control. Individual residents are the only ones who can ensure these steps are taken.
Adult mosquito control procedures, particularly spraying of adulticides, should and will be considered a supplemental control measure of last resort. Read more information from the CDC on spraying: What You Need to Know About Using Adulticides Fact Sheet, What You Need to Know About Truck Spraying Factsheet and Mosquito Ground Spraying Products.
What can I do to reduce my risk of mosquito bites?
The CDC states that preventing mosquito bites is the best way to reduce risk of contracting West Nile Virus. Tarrant County Public Health’s Be Mosquito Free program recommends the following:
- Dump all standing water
- Wear long sleeves and pants
- Use an EPA-approved insect repellent
- Keep vegetation trimmed