A mosquito sample has come up positive for the West Nile virus, the first this year within the Denton city limits.
City officials confirmed that a trap collected on July 22 near Highland Park Road and University of North Texas athletic facilities has tested positive. The finding increases slightly the risk of a person contracting the disease.
A team will continue to set traps and sample for the virus in the coming weeks, according to city officials.
Any positive findings are mapped on the city’s website, www.cityofdenton.com. Crews also will increase their application of larvacide in certain areas of the city where stagnant water is known to collect.
Denton has an established risk management plan for West Nile virus that includes ground spraying for mosquitoes only when the virus is detected in humans as well as mosquito pools.
No human cases have been reported this year, either in the city or in Denton County.
Officials urged residents to help eliminate mosquito breeding grounds by removing standing water on their property. Standing water can collect in open trash carts, boats and pool covers, fountains and bird baths, clogged rain gutters, water bowls for pets, buckets and barrels, flower pots and saucers, toys, tires, piles of trash and near leaky hoses.
In places where residents have difficulty draining stagnant water, such as ponds, pools and low areas, the city offers Bti briquettes to kill mosquito larvae.
Residents can pick up briquettes (limit two per resident) while the supply lasts. Bring a driver’s license or a current city utility bill to either the Utility Service Center at Water Administration, 901A Texas St., weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or the City of Denton Composting, in the Pecan Creek Water Reclamation Facility, 1100 S. Mayhill Road, Tuesday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Other information on how to combat mosquitoes and prevent the spread of West Nile virus can be found on the city website, and the Denton County Health Department website at www.dentoncounty.com/wnv.
PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.