How can I find out if spraying has taken place in my area?
Residents are encouraged to visit MySouthlakeNews.com/publicsafety or Southlake DPS social media platforms for information on which areas of the City are to be sprayed. Residents directly impacted by spraying will be notified via AlertSouthlake notifications as well.
How do spraying notifications go out?
Spraying notifications are sent to affected residents via AlertSouthlake: a mass notification system that allows the City to contact businesses and residents about important community related information and emergency alerts. You can sign up today for AlertSouthlake and get important Southlake specific information including emergency alerts delivered to your phone or email.
What types of insecticides are used by the City of Southlake Vector Control Program?
All products and compounds that the City of Southlake utilizes as part of a comprehensive vector management program are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are applied by trained and state-certified technicians.
For larval control (juvenile mosquitoes), the City utilizes various methods which may include:
- Gambusia affinis – Known as the mosquito fish, they are native to many Texas streams and rivers. Their diet consists mainly of mosquito larvae. This makes them great to use for mosquito control purposes because they are natural and sustainable. For private property use, such as stock ponds, fountains, ornamental ponds and horse troughs they may be available at your local bait or pet stores.
- Bti/Bs- Bacillus Thurengensis Isrealensis is a soil bacterium that is toxic to mosquito larvae. This may be purchased in most hardware stores in the form of donuts/dunks or sometimes in pellets.
- Novaluron- An insect growth regulator (IGR) meaning that it affects some part of the insect’s growth and development phase. It is considered to be safe around a lot of other wildlife, like vertebrates.
- S-Methoprene- An IGR that mimics an insect growth hormone. In the constant presence of s-methoprene the insect will never become an adult, therefore never completing its life cycle.
- Oils- specialized oils can be dispersed over the surface of water to prevent mosquito larvae and pupae from breathing.
For adult mosquito control two classes of insecticides may be used:
- Pyrethroids- A class of pesticides that are derived from a chemical that is naturally occurring in chrysanthemum flowers. Pyrethroids are used in spraying and usually applied with an Ultra-Low Volume (ULV) applicator. These compounds are not easily taken up by the roots of plants and vegetation and do not leach into groundwater because they strongly bind to the soil when applied. They are eventually degraded by microorganisms in soil and water and break down in sunlight.
- Spinosads- A pesticide made from modified compounds from another soil bacterium, Sacchropolysporaspinosa. These compounds are comparable to organophosphates in that they act to paralyze the insect; however it poses a very low risk to other wild life and non-target insects.
The Texas Department of Agriculture requires that every employee of a vector control district who handles, applies, or supervises the use of any insecticide for public health purposes be certified and licensed as a Structural Pest Control Applicator. All insecticide products are required to have a label which provides information, including instructions on how to apply the insecticide and precautions to be taken to prevent health and environmental effects. All labels are required to be approved by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
How will these insecticides affect me and my family?
At the rates that the City applies these compounds, they do not pose a significant risk to you or your family. If you would like to take extra precautions remain indoors and keep windows and doors closed during applications.
Will spraying affect my pets?
Spraying Compounds that are used in accordance to the label are not harmful to animals. However, if you want to reduce your pet’s exposure, keep them inside during spraying.
Will spraying affect my swimming pool water, lawn furniture, play equipment, toys, etc?
Your swimming pool water and items found in your yard should not be affected. Applications are made in the very early morning hours or late evening hours, and pyrethroids break down rapidly in sunlight.
What if I have a vegetable or fruit garden?
Just as you normally would, wash your vegetables and fruit before you eat them. Keep in mind, these compounds are not easily taken up by the roots of plants and vegetation and do not leach into groundwater.
Should I turn my air conditioner off if spraying is scheduled in my area?
If you have a window air-conditioning unit, you can turn off the vent so that air is not brought in from outside. Since a central air-conditioning unit does not pull in outside air, there is no need to turn it off.
Where can I get additional information regarding specific insecticides?
For more information on insecticides consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees the registration of these chemicals. The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) can also provide information through a toll-free number, 1-800-858-7378 or online.
How do I report a concern with mosquitoes in my area?
Using the Mosquito Reporting Tool alerts the OEM team of the issue and they will be able to investigate further.