Both the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, and the Texas Department of State Health Services in Austin have written guidelines and regulations that relate to municipalities' and county governments' use of airborne pesticides which are truck-mounted sprayers or aircraft-mounted sprayers. This form of mosquito control is known as adulticiding, or killing adult mosquitoes.
Though most U.S. cities used adulticiding throughout the latter half of the 20th century to reduce nuisance mosquitoes, those species that bite humans but normally don't carry disease. Nuisance spraying is heavily discouraged by state and federal health officials.
Irving's Guidelines on Adulticiding
Irving has adopted the recommendations of the CDC when deciding when to send its vector control technician out at night to use the truck-mounted adulticiding unit. These guidelines are as follows:
When a particular trap location has over 100 female mosquitoes in one night of trapping.
When a mosquito pool, one trap's catch of mosquitoes, has tested positive for either West Nile Virus (WNV) or Saint Louis Encephalitis (SLE).
When the county or state health department reports a suspected human case of WNV or SLE in Irving.
When the county or state health department reports a confirmed human case of WNV or SLE in Irving.
Effects of Pesticide Use on Human Health
Effect on human health is one of the primary factors considered in regulation of pesticides. Pesticides that can be used for mosquito control have been judged by the EPA not to pose an unreasonable risk to human health. People who are concerned about exposure to a pesticide, such as those with chemical sensitivity or breathing conditions such as asthma, can reduce their potential for exposure by staying indoors during the application period, typically nighttime.