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GRAND PRAIRIE – The City of Grand Prairie’s Environmental Services Department can now “fight the bite” a little more easily. In July 2013, the city purchased a revolutionary tool, the Larvasonic Field Arm Acoustic Larvicide, or simply the Larvasonic, that allows for the immediate destruction of mosquito larvae. Grand Prairie is the first city in the metroplex to invest in the $6,900 device.
The Larvasonic, the result of a Intel International Science Fair project, is a device that emits sound waves into pools of stagnant water. The sound waves resonate at the frequency of mosquito larvae internal air volume, causing the larvae to burst. As a result, larvae and pupae are either killed or left to morph into flightless – and therefore harmless – mosquitoes.
The city has traditionally treated mosquito breeding grounds with larvicide, but this method is not always 100 percent effective. Larvicides often take two to three days to dissolve and activate in water. As a result, some larvae may hatch before the larvicide begins to take effect. In an attempt to remedy this, the city now complements its use of larvicide with the Larvasonic. After larvicide is applied to stagnant pools and drainage ditches, the Larvasonic is now used to immediately kill any larvae that are on the verge of hatching. By doing this, the city is able to stop more mosquitoes from hatching and taking flight. Further, because the Larvasonic is an alternative to chemical and biological treatments and does not appear to have any unintended consequences, it is an effective solution to the city’s mosquito problem.
The City of Grand Prairie is using maps and aerial photos supplied by its Geographic Information Systems Division to find vacant and unkempt swimming pools and backed-up drainage ditches in which mosquitoes are likely breeding. They then travel to the site, apply a larvicide and send sound waves into the pool with the Larvasonic.
For more information about the Larvasonic, call 972-237-8550. Go to www.gptx.org/FightTheBite to report a stagnant pool or drainage ditch.