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Mosquito Traps Offer Irving Residents Peace Of Mind

IRVING (CBS 11 NEWS)- Monday afternoon, Walter Ritchie with the City of Irving is busy setting up another trap. The one he is preparing is at the Del Paseo town homes near the hospital.

In Irving, residents can ask for a trap to be set in their own backyards if they're worried about West Nile.

"We are a community of 60 units mostly seniors," explains Bob Gross who lives at the Del Paseo town homes.

The city now has ten human cases of West Nile and that makes residents like Gross worry, "Some have been very close. It concerns me quite a bit. That's one of the reasons we have tried to get this to happen."

The city says it sprays around Irving often, but also offers the personal traps as a peace of mind for residents. If a resident wants a trap they have to call the city's mosquito hotline at 972-721-3755.  The city also has West Nile updates on its website.

A mosquito control technician comes out to the house and sets up the trap with what they call "dirty water."

"It smells awful," says Walter Ritchie, Vector Control Manager with the City of Irving. "It's a mixture of water, milk, eggs and a little bit of grass."

That stinky trap is meant to mimic stagnate water and attract female mosquitoes in the area. The trap has a fan which is supposed to suck up the mosquitoes and keep them in the net.

"The grab it trap will draw the mosquitoes, preferably the female ones, to breed in the dirty water, if you will, and we trap them in a net and then send them off," says Ritchie.

The city then uses GPS to lock in the location and if they get a good sampling, then it will be sent off for testing at the State Health Department in Austin.

At Del Paseo, the trap will be left overnight in a garden area of the property near the pool. In the morning, the city will pick it up hoping they've caught enough female mosquitoes to send for testing.

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