West Nile Virus prompts mosquito spraying in Lancaster

WNV AV BirdsLANCASTER – The threat of West Nile Virus continues in Lancaster. The Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District (AVMVCD) reports that a trap near 40th Street East and Avenue K in Lancaster caught extremely high numbers of mosquitoes last week, and that one of the eight samples submitted for testing came back positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).  Three sentinel chickens from a coop in that area have also shown signs of WNV infection.

Due to these factors, the AVMVCD has deemed it necessary to apply mosquito adulticide in that specific area to reduce the threat of human WNV infection.  It will be applied by a truck-mounted Ultra Low Volume sprayer, which will disperse a fine mist of the product into the air.

“This is the first time we have had to fall back on adult mosquito control,” District Entomologist Karen Mellor said.  “Usually we treat the mosquito larvae in standing water before they turn into flying adults.  But when a trap gets over 3,000 mosquitoes in just one night, there’s a problem and we have to address it.”

Weather permitting, the adulticide application is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 29, between midnight and 5 a.m.

The product that will be used is a synthetic Pyrethroid called Sumithrin. To prepare your residence for the treatment, you should:

  • Keep your windows and doors closed during application.
  • Cover fish ponds, since it can harm fish.
  • Stay indoors during ULV application

District officials urge residents to take individual responsibility, and remember the 3 D’s protect yourself and your family from West Nile Virus:

  1. DRAIN all standing water – Empty out small containers at least once a week, keep pools and spas chlorinated or drained, and repair all water leaks.  Conserve water and prevent mosquito breeding.
  2. DUSK and DAWN – are peak activity times for mosquitoes.
  3. DEFEND yourself – wear long sleeved shirts and pants and use mosquito repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or IR3535 when outdoors during mosquito activity. Always follow instructions on the product label. Keep tight fitting screens on doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering homes.

The current total of WNV infections in the Antelope Valley is 13 sentinel chickens, two dead birds, and one mosquito sample.  To date the virus has been detected in 229 chickens, 831 dead birds, 1,562 mosquito samples, 8 horses and four squirrels in 38 Counties of California.  There have also been 59 confirmed human cases with four fatalities this year.

Residents are encouraged to report any dead birds to the California West Nile Virus Hotline at 1-877-WNV-BIRD (1-877-968-2473) or online at HUwww.westnile.ca.gov.  Not all birds will be tested, but the data of dead bird clusters is vital in tracking and controlling the virus.

West Nile Virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito.  Although most people that are infected do not show any symptoms, West Nile Virus is a potentially debilitating disease.  Even ‘mild’ cases of West Nile Fever can cause patients enormous pain and discomfort for months.

For more information or services, contact the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District at 661-942-2917 or visit www.avmosquito.org.

(Information via press release from the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District.)

  22 comments for “West Nile Virus prompts mosquito spraying in Lancaster

  1. Maria paesano
    September 13, 2013 at 4:49 am

    Umm I think that area over on 40 th was recently acquired by the city and go take a look for yourself that whole area is green AS IF THERE HAS BEEN ALOT OF WATER RIGHT THERE FOR SOME TIME! It wasn’t that way before so what are THEY doing there? And why aren’t THEY doing what they are telling others to do to prevent this instead of the opposite which is INVITING IT TO HAPPEN??? Hmmm maybe justify spraying that is being done already like in our skies? ( that they never tell us about ). Or on the ground, sewer , water ( maybe flushing them out to the surface? ). Any of these other “areas” city or ” investor ” owned? People living between 30 th and 40 th have ALOT more problems that I don’t think they are aware of………By the way the ” solar project” right there on 40 th by Evergreen is a company that deals in nuclear waste. They have also applied for real estate liscense W/ name High Desert RE. Just thought you might like to know.

  2. Reba
    September 7, 2013 at 5:51 am

    I live in around 32nd street east and avenue K. I am FURIOUS that I wasn’t notified. One of my family members smelled a strong smell in the morning- strong enough to tell me on the phone later that day that someone must have been really spraying for bugs. Later we found out about this fogging. I am so disappointed. Why did they not use the phone alert system that they already use on many other occasions. Shame on them for not properly notifying us so that we could protect our families as we see fit!!!! I am trying to remember if Thursday was the day I had all the windows open. Yes they say it dissipates in the sunlight, but I am sure there is still plenty in the air. I have small children whom I NEVER would expose by opening the windows. When did they say is was ok to open windows??? Is this a widely used product???? I am a VERY disappointed resident. Shame on the city of Lancaster and AV mosquito vector control for NOT properly informing its residents!!!!

  3. Lee weisman
    September 3, 2013 at 8:52 am

    I live at j8 & 25th east and am very pissed off that I was not notified of this spraying at midnight on the 29th. On the 30th 3 of my dogs became ill and one seriously that almost died from toxicity poisoning costing me more than a $1000 to save his life. I demand explaination of why no prior notification to residents. You should pick up all vet bills in these neighborhoods for getting our loved pets sick with no notification to us.Shame on you as this is not acceptable standards.You want to fix your bug problem fix the damn streets and drainage problems in neighborhood instead of wasting money on medians on ave. J

  4. yabbadabba
    August 28, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    There is always standing watering at 15th St. East and East Avenue H-12…I’ve seen vector control…
    Is this initial spraying training or a test? I’m concerned due to the close location of homes, schools, elderly, those with respiratory problems, pregnant women. etc.

    I also want to know how the Bee population will be protected.

    Whom at the top gave the official approval to this spraying?

  5. yabbadabba
    August 28, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    The chemicals being used were banned and Hartz could no longer use these for dogs or cats. What is being done to alert the people in that neighborhood? Also, what about pregnant woman and infants?
    Is the City of Lancaster providing protective masks for those that cannot afford it. Please alert that particular neighborhood!

    • Jenny
      August 28, 2013 at 8:00 pm


  6. Roxie
    August 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Please do tell more about the bees. How do you cover them up? Isnt there another way to do this?

    • August 28, 2013 at 11:48 am

      We are only spraying a very small area that does not have any bees hives according to the Ag. Commissioner, and we are spraying very early in the morning before the bees are out. By the time the sun come up, most of the product will have dissipated. The amount that we are spraying is also very low.

  7. yabbadabba
    August 27, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    What about the entire A.V.? Mosquitoes fly everywhere!

    • August 28, 2013 at 11:51 am

      The rest of the AV doesn’t have 3000+ mosquitoes in one trap in one night. We rely on people taking personal precautions to avoid mosquitoes, i.e. drain/dump all standing water, wear mosquito repellent at dusk and dawn, and make sure window and door screens fit well.

  8. Nancy P
    August 27, 2013 at 9:43 am


    • qhr
      August 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      I called AV Mosquito & Vector Control and they said they are only spraying in one area (K & 40th East).

  9. ARM
    August 27, 2013 at 7:51 am

    We had a dead bird in our back yard a month ago, and I have been bitten too many with mosquitoes . Had allergic reaction
    Even after using off spray.

  10. ShadowCrestWatchers
    August 27, 2013 at 7:35 am

    It would be nice to know what geographic area will be sprayed.

    • August 28, 2013 at 11:53 am

      It will be from 35th – 40th Street East between Ave J-8 and K.

  11. QHR
    August 26, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    We see them in Quartz Hill area (70th West and Ave M)

  12. Heather
    August 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    We have a massive amount over here on J-4 and 5th St east too :-/ can you spray here???

  13. August 26, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Will this spray also wipe-out the bee population?

    • Critical Thinker
      August 27, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      It could not to mention night pollinators like moths and any bug sleeping at night that does not live in a hole or a box. Also the bats (what few are left) will inhale it while eating the mosquitos, which happens to be their job before humans freaked out and poisoned them too.
      But hey a person could get sick and possibly die.

  14. Charlie
    August 26, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Please feel free to spray the west side of Palmdale too. I haven’t been able to enjoy my patio in the evenings because of mosquitoes and small flies that bite. Some homes are empty and no one is caring for the pools or ponds. And we are overrun with flies because some of our neighbors don’t pick up their dog doo. I have things to catch them but it’s not enough. The city is only concerned with the front of properties. Oh well, that’s my beef for today!

    • Critical Thinker
      August 27, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      I believe you can call in the vacant properties to the city and they will get the owners/banks to drain the pools, etc.

    • August 28, 2013 at 11:59 am

      We check and treat a lot of swimming pools in the AV, but if you know of one that is green you can call or email our office and we’ll make sure to check it out, if we don’t already.
      If you are using a bug zapper to catch mosquitoes, you are actually making the problem bigger. Those attract more mosquitoes than they kill, so you are left with the rest. Try using insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or IR3535.

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