City councils in both Southlake and Westlake will decide tonight whether to join other Denton County communities in aerial mosquito spraying for West Nile virus.
The two became eligible for the aerial spraying after Denton County Judge Mary signed a disaster delcaration last week. Denton County has reported more than 100 cases of West Nile this year, and the virus has been blamed in two deaths there.
Although most of the county's cases have been reported in Flower Mound and Lewisville, the declaration allows every municipality with land in Denton County limits to join in aerial spraying.
"Ground spraying and the use of larvacide in ponds and standing water has not been successful in containing this disease outbreak," a news release from Denton County reads. "It is believed that the ability of aerial spraying to cover very large areas of the county at one time may provide the needed boost in preventive measures to reduce the growing number of cases occurring."
Duet, the insecticide used in aerial spraying, is already in use in Dallas County, where several communities — for the first time since the 1960s — opted in to aerial spraying in recent weeks with hopes it would quell the onslaught of West Nile cases Dallas has seen this year. The insecticide is similar to the one employed in ground spraying and, though it has been somewhat controversial in Dallas County, it has been declared safe for humans and pets by the Centers for Disease Control.
Since the start of West Nile season, Southlake has confirmed four cases of West Nile virus, Keller has reported nine, Trophy Club has reported two and Roanoke has seen one.
Southlake's special meeting tonight will begin at 5 p.m. at Town Hall, 1400 Main St. The Westlake Town Council will consider the option during their regular session begin at 6:30 p.m. at Westlake Town Hall on the second floor of 3 Village Circle.
If approved, aerial spraying could begin as soon as the end of the week.