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    Ground spraying for mosquitoes, white truck with functioning spray device, driving in rural neighborhood

    Before any ground spraying takes place, Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) always recommends residents and individuals take personal measures to protect themselves and eliminate mosquito breeding on their property.

    The responsibilities

    Each municipality in Tarrant County is responsible for mosquito abatement (control toward reduction) within their city limits.

    TCPH is responsible for mosquito abatement within the unincorporated areas of Tarrant County. 

    TCPH works with the municipalities to monitor mosquito activity and offers mosquito control recommendations; although the decision to start/stop any mosquito control activity is given by the governing body of the each municipality.

    The process

    Most Tarrant County municipalities monitor and trap for mosquitoes with traps TCPH provides free of charge. The trapped mosquitoes are brought to TCPH where the mosquitoes in each trap are sorted, or "pooled" (separated out by species), and tested for the presence of West Nile Virus (WNV) and other mosquito-borne diseases. When a WNV-positive pool is found, TCPH will notify the respective municipality.

    TCPH will adulticide (treat for adult mosquitoes) in the unincorporated area where disease in the trapped mosquito pools are found.  

    TCPH does not adulticide for nuisance mosquitoes, however TCPH will treat ANY source containing mosquito larvae with various types of larvicide (treatment for larval mosquitoes).

    TCPH may adulticide for multiple consecutive nights if it is determined that there is an elevated risk to humans (for instance: multiple positives pools in the same area and confirmed human cases of WNV).

    Gravid mosquito trap device

    TCPH will larvicide if mosquito larvae is present and no natural predators are found within the body of water.

    TCPH has an integrated pest management (IPM) policy for treating mosquitoes.  The IPM was developed using best practice recommendations from the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Texas Department of State Health Services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The IPM outlines how each TCPH control measure activity is initiated, tracked and recorded, assuring TCPH uses the least amount of chemical to effectively reduce the mosquito population.

    TCPH currently employs six Texas Department of Agriculture-licensed personnel in the mosquito abatement program.  

    TCPH may contract with local businesses to assist with the task of ground spraying. These contractors are awarded based on criteria established by TCPH during the biding process that follows TCPH IPM.  The criteria does include, but is not limited to,  proof that all personel are properly licensed to apply insecticides used for mosquito control and the company is required to provide location, time, date and rate of each application to TCPH.

    Tarrant County Public Health's phased response guidelines for mosquito borne diseases is modeled after the CDCs phased response guidelines for mosquito borne diseases and may include other applicable community procedures. All actions are subject to change without notice due to organizational priorities, weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

    Further information

    Tarrant County Public Health Phased Response to Mosquito Surveillance Guidelines

    Arboviral Surveillance and Mosquito Control Program policies

    A “vector” is an animal that can carry and transmit a disease to another animal.  A mosquito is considered a vector of concern because a mosquito can carry and transmit diseases to humans. More on vector control.

    TARRANT COUNTY, TEXAS



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    100 E. Weatherford, Fort Worth, Texas 76196