The county sprayed Balch Springs overnight Thursday and will continue spraying on Friday and Saturday nights. The county, as it has throughout the spring, asks that residents follow the four "Ds" to reduce the risk of mosquito exposure:
- DEET All Day, Every Day: Whenever outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA approved repellents and follow instructions.
- Dress: Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing outside.
- Drain: Drain or treat all standing water in and around your home or workplace.
- Dusk & Dawn: Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
This weekend's spraying takes aim at the fifth trap in the county that's tested positive for West Nile in 2016. If and when Zika transmission begins locally, it is yet to be seen what steps the county can take to combat the mosquitoes that carry it. Aedes Aegypti isn't as susceptible to spraying as the mosquitoes that carry West Nile, because it doesn't tend to stay outside.
"The Zika mosquito, a daytime biter, likes to bite inside your house and will follow you around. It likes to find an opening. It's an indoor-type of mosquito," former Dallas County Medical Director John Carlo said late last month.
Both Dallas County and the state of Texas have called on the federal government to help Texas with its potential Zika issues. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, no friend of federal power, reached out to President Obama in a letter on Monday.
"As the weather continues to warm in Texas, and flooding persists in many areas of the state, Texas continues to remain at greater risk of sustained local transmission of Zika than most of the rest of the country. We urge you to help ensure a coordinated and robust response by the federal government to combat the spread of the Zika virus, and the timely receipt of federal funds to mitigate this devastating public health threat," he wrote.