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Eleven Cities Will Spray From Air

Eleven cities in Dallas County have signed on to an aerial spray attack against mosquitoes. The first West Nile virus air assault could launch tonight at 10:00pm.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins named Addison, Highland and University Parks, Dallas, and the seven other cities that said yes to spraying mosquitoes from the sky. Sachse and Irving said no, and Jenkins said Rowlett and Wylie did not respond. He said two planes will fly over northern Dallas up to 4 hours each on their mosquito-killing mission.

Listen to KERA's call-in special: Fighting West Nile

Jenkins: The Park cities has had three deaths, North Dallas has had five. The other two deaths were in Segoville and Duncanville. It was the recommendation of the CDC and the state that we consider only this vector for aerial spraying at present.

Dallas City Hall West Nile Site

Doug Carroll, with Clarke and Dynamic Aviation said timing is crucial for the two planes spreading poison over 49,000 acres.

"The target mosquitoes that we’re after primarily is only active during the first hours after the sun goes down. So having those mosquitoes out and on the wing is so imperative to the success of this whole operation,"  Carroll said.

Judge Jenkins explained the northern County focus now frees up Zachary Thompson, head of Dallas County Health and Human Services, to send anti-mosquito resources elsewhere.

"Zach and his team will be working to move our ground troops and fogger trucks south to the cities that request ground spraying as, essentially, all of the northern portions of the county we have responsibility for have chosen to go with the aerial spray approach," Jenkins said.

Jenkins said later this morning, Dallas County leaders from southern cities – from Duncanville and Desoto, to Segoville and Sunnyvale - will meet to discuss whether they too want aerial spraying over their towns.

Cities opting in on aerial spraying: Addison, Carrollton, Coppell, Dallas, Farmers Branch, Garland, Grand Prairie, Highland Park, University Park, Mesquite, and Richardson.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.