UNIVERSITY PARK - The city of University Park, considered to be at the epicenter of the West Nile virus outbreak, is beginning an aggressive approach to spraying insecticide across the entire community.
Steve Mace, the community information officer for the city, said they will be spraying the entire community weekly. Trucks will spray insecticide even in alleys and streets during overnight hours.
The city is also spraying all seven-area school campuses, which includes two in Highland Park. Those schools are also being hand-fogged, which means people are spraying insecticide by hand in areas likely to collect water like around fences and doorways.
Wednesday morning, city crews began the weekly spraying of school campuses at University Park Elementary School. School begins August 27.
Helen Williams, who is with the Highland Park ISD, said the district is in favor of spraying insecticide on school campuses weekly with an emphasis on eliminating all standing water, which can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
The city of University Park is also giving out free packets of "dunks" to those in the community who have proof of residency. The donut-shaped dunks dissolve in standing water and kill mosquito larvae. They will be available during normal business hours.
Resident Scotty Rogers said he needs no encouragement to rid his yard of all standing water. As he told News 8, one of his friends was hospitalized with West Nile. Rogers said that's why he never leaves home without wearing long sleeves. It's also why he makes sure none of his flower pots collect extra standing water, especially after the rain Tuesday night. As Rogers said, when he sees standing water, he dumps it.