City to Spray for Woolly Worms | News

The city will begin pesticide spraying for woolly worm prevention and eradication at the Community Aquatic Center, Memorial Park, Zachary Taylor Park, Mathis Park and Spencer Park on Monday, March 28.

Although the spray is not toxic to humans, their pets, birds, and other insects, park guests may wish to take other precautions while spraying to avoid inhalation or skin contamination.

Memorial Park will be closed until noon that day to allow for spraying. Additionally, they will be implementing flea control in the dog park and other areas.

The Community Aquatic Center is always closed on Mondays.

In case of rain, the spraying will be postponed to the following dry day.

Parks and Recreation Services Director Rick Martinez said the pesticide, which contains bifenthrin, is government-approved and administered by certified professionals.

“We were very lucky not to have suffered major damage from these insects in the past two decades,” Martinez said. “What really makes woolly worms pests is their numbers and the way they cover benches, sidewalks, playground equipment and other park facilities.”

Although the local term is woolly worms, these pesky insects are actually caterpillars, also known as oakleaf moths and tussock moths. They weave strands of silk, which wrap around trees and can cause serious and irreparable damage to weakened or stressed trees.

Park users should stay away from a sprayed area for approximately two hours after application. If a person comes into contact with the insecticide, whether in a park or in other parts of town where spraying takes place, the following precautions should be followed:

• If inhaled, remove to fresh air. In case of respiratory distress, call a physician or poison control center (800-222-1222) for treatment advice.

• If swallowed, drink a glass of cool water. Call a physician or poison control center for treatment advice.

• In case of eye contact, hold each eye open and rinse slowly and gently with water for 15-20 minutes.

• In case of contact with skin or clothing, remove contaminated clothing. Rinse skin thoroughly for 15-20 minutes.

For more information, contact Martinez at (361) 790-1163.

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