The Sacramento area’s annual war against the West Nile virus is engaging a tinier, though no less threatening, enemy this season, as aerial spraying of insecticides is set to resume Wednesday and Thursday nights, officials said.
Aircraft will spread pesticides over parts of Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks and Orangevale, with boundaries stretching from Highway 80 and Garfield Avenue on the west to Hazel Avenue on the eastern side. The southern border will be Lincoln Avenue, while the north will be defined by the Sacramento County line.
Mother Nature has introduced a tinier mosquito to the region this year, one roughly in size between a fruit fly and a typical mosquito, making it a threat to those with gaps or tears in their screens and doors. The smaller mosquito makes a softer telltale buzz, so people will have to be more attuned to the bugs in their surroundings.
Regardless of the size of the insect, officials say, this season is shaping up to be a more active one for the virus than last year’s, when aerial spraying over neighborhoods was not necessary.
“Intense West Nile virus activity has prompted us to move forward with plans for aerial spraying,” said Gary Goodman, district manager of the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District. “Our surveillance efforts indicate high virus infection rates, and aerial treatments to reduce the number of infected adult mosquitoes are necessary in order to protect public health.”
Over the past few weeks, virus activity has been constant in these areas, as measured by the number of dead birds and mosquito samples testing positive for the virus.
Goodman said residents in other parts of the region should also be on the lookout for mosquitoes because activity has been detected in other parts of Sacramento and Yolo counties, especially in Davis. The district conducted aerial spraying in large portions of Sacramento’s southern neighborhoods two weeks ago.
Aerial spraying will begin around 8 p.m. and last until about midnight both nights. Aircraft will drop an insecticide called Trumpet that is registered for use in mosquito control by the California Environmental Protection Agency as well as the U.S. EPA.
In case of unfavorable weather conditions, the spraying will be canceled or postponed, district officials said.
For more information, residents can visit www.fightthebite.net, where a treatment area map can be found. There, residents can also sign up for email notifications by ZIP code.
In Sacramento County, 82 dead birds and 126 mosquito samples have tested positive for the virus, the district said. In Yolo County, 14 dead birds and 30 mosquito samples have tested positive.