Health & Medicine

West Nile activity prompts aerial spraying in Sacramento, ground operations in Bay Area

Here are the planes and the plan for Monday night’s aerial insecticide spraying

Three aircraft will be used for aerial insecticide spraying over south Sacramento neighborhoods and Elk Grove on Monday evening, July 23. The spaying will target mosquitoes where high levels of West Nile virus have been discovered.
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Three aircraft will be used for aerial insecticide spraying over south Sacramento neighborhoods and Elk Grove on Monday evening, July 23. The spaying will target mosquitoes where high levels of West Nile virus have been discovered.

As part of an ongoing effort to reduce mosquito populations in areas with intense West Nile virus activity, a second night of aerial spraying is scheduled to take place tonight in Elk Grove, the Pocket and areas south of Fruitridge Road.

Targeted treatment efforts are taking place in Sacramento as well as other parts of the state as a means to combat West Nile Virus activity.

The first night of aerial spraying took place Monday and was completed successfully, the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District reported. Based on results from mosquito samples and dead birds collected from those areas, the district determined aerial spraying was necessary to target and kill mosquito populations.

Spraying began on the night of Monday at 8:45 p.m. and ended at approximately 9:38 p.m.

Tonight’s round of spraying is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. The aerial application takes place at dusk, when mosquitoes are most active, to maximize the effect of the treatment.

Residents in those areas can sign up for text notifications to be alerted when spraying begins and ends by texting ‘sprayupdate’ to the number 69922.

West Nile activity is being addressed in the Bay Area as well. After mosquito samples tested positive for the virus in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, health officials have plans to use a truck-mounted fogging unit to apply insecticide at a low dosage on Thursday, according to a Tuesday news release.

In the Sacramento spraying, about 41,000 acres will be treated for a second time with the insecticide Trumpet EC, which is EPA registered. The insecticide is applied at a rate of 0.75 ounces or less per acre, the district reports.

The Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have both reported that Trumpet EC and its active ingredient, Naled, do not pose health risks in the small doses recommended for aerial spraying. The CDC reports Naled begins to break down in water and in sunlight.

Due to the low dosage rate, the district does not recommend any necessary precautions to take while spraying is occurring. For those with backyard vegetable or fruit gardens, produce should be washed per usual before consumed.

“After the two nights of spraying we will once again be trapping for mosquitoes in the spray area,” said Luz Robles, a spokesperson for the Vector Control District. “That will help us determine how much the populations of mosquitoes declined.”

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