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Some Question Fort Worth No Mosquito Spraying Policy

A mosquito sits on a stick. (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - The City of Fort Worth does not spray for mosquitoes. With the hundreds of reported cases of human West Nile infection across North Texas and the half a dozen West Nile-related deaths, many are questioning why some type of city precaution isn't being taken.

Neighbors near Linear Park say part of the problem in their area is obvious. Stagnate water sits in Marine Creek. People living in the area say it has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Josefina Betancourt said she is doing everything she can to protect her baby from mosquitoes.

"My daughter has a net around her crib," she said. "I'm afraid if they go in they will bite her, that's how bad I feel it is."

Betancourt lives just in front of Marine Creek. Each day she looks at the standing water.

"It's scary," Betancourt said of the view. "They should spray, especially in the area with the water down there."

But the City of Fort Worth hasn't sprayed for mosquitoes in more than two decades.

"Spraying has limited effects. Nobody puts a spraying program in place thinking it is the answer for mosquito control," Fort Worth Assistant Code Compliance Director Scott Hanlan said. "The typical roadway application might be affective to properties adjacent but as you get further away it may be less effective."

Tarrant County has reported more than 60 cases of human West Nile infection, 13 of those in Fort Worth.

As it stands, the city's primary weapon against the West Nile fight has been prevention and education.

"We have health inspectors go out and look at the immediate area to see if there is source pool reduction that can take place," Hanlan said. "We also have a reverse 911 messaging system, so within a mile radius of every case they are calling people at home and reminding them of the general West Nile prevention messages."

Officials with the City of Fort Worth told CBS 11 News that they plan to have someone go out and look at the stagnate water at Marine Creek.

As for the mosquitoes...

Fort Worth resident Maria Tijerina said, "It's a big problem and nobody is doing nothing about it."

Residents near Linear Park said they just want to see the city do more to protect them.

"It's a danger to the people and children. They need to do something about that," Tijerina said.

Since there is no spraying for mosquitoes in Fort Worth -- the city and county have been pushing the four D's.

* Use insect repellent that contains permethrin or DEET
* Drain standing water
* Dress in long sleeves and pants
* Avoid going outside during dusk and dawn

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