A mosquito trap sample collected Tuesday in southeast Georgetown has tested positive for West Nile Virus. The positive test was indicated in lab results received yesterday afternoon from the Texas Department of State Health Services lab in Austin.
The sample was collected from a trap on S. Maple Street on Oct. 9. The species that tested positive for West Nile Virus was Culex quinquefasciatus, also known as the Southern house mosquito. There were 52 Culex mosquitoes in the sample. The number of mosquitoes with the West Nile Virus in the sample is not known. This species of mosquito has a flight range of about one mile.
The mosquito testing is part of the City of Georgetown’s participation in the Williamson County and Cities Health District’s Integrated Mosquito Management program. There are currently no reported human cases of West Nile Virus in Williamson County. Mosquito traps are in other locations in Georgetown and across the County. The mosquitos in those traps, including the trap location on S. Maple Street, will continue to be tested for WNV this fall.
Insecticide spraying this evening
The City of Georgetown Public Works Department is planning to use a trailer-mounted sprayer to apply insecticide within a half-mile radius of the trap location. After dusk on Friday, Oct. 12 and again before dawn on Saturday, Oct. 13, the City will use a permethrin-based insecticide along the street right-of-way and in public parks, weather permitting. Permethrin is a synthetic derivative of a pyrethrum, which comes from Chrysanthemum flowers.
A map is included showing the area where application of the insecticide is planned in Southeast Georgetown. The use of the insecticide will reduce the adult mosquito population in that area. Spraying will be done if the wind speed is less than 10 mph and it is not raining.
What you can do
Mosquitoes breed in standing or stagnant water. Eliminating places where mosquitoes can breed and reducing the chances of mosquito bites are the most effective lines of defense against exposure to West Nile Virus. As part of its Fight the Bite campaign the Health District recommends the 3 Ds of mosquito safety.
· Drain standing water in flower pots, pet dishes, or clogged gutters so mosquitoes don’t have a place to breed and treat water that can’t be drained,
· Defend by using an EPA-approved insect repellent, and
· Dress in long sleeves and pants when outdoors.