LANCASTER – 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:
- 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.
- DUSK and DAWN – are peak activity times for mosquitoes.
- 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.)