Riverside County vector control officials will be conducting anti-mosquito spraying Wednesday in Nuevo to eradicate growing infestations that pose a potential risk to public health.
The Department of Environmental Health has scheduled “ultra-low volume” insecticide spraying in two areas, covering a total 218 acres, between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m.
According to agency spokeswoman Dottie Merki, large concentrations of the pests have raised concerns about the potential for West Nile virus and other diseases being transmitted, though the presence of WNV has not been documented in the spray zones.
Spraying operations are set in a 169-acre space between Ninth and 10th streets, as well as Reservoir and Yucca avenues. Spraying is also planned in a 49-acre space near Mystic Field, bordered by Lakeview, Magnolia and Reservoir avenues, along with Orange Street to the east, Merki said.
Anti-mosquito spraying involves the use of chemicals approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Pesticides are emitted as a mist dispersed from machines anchored in the backs of pickup trucks.
Merki recommended that during operations, residents stay indoors and keep windows closed until at least 15 minutes after the trucks have departed.
Eight human West Nile virus infections have been reported in Riverside County so far this year. Statewide, 100 WNV infections have been recorded, four of them fatal, according to the California Department of Public Health.
An online map showing West Nile hotspots countywide is available here: www.rivcoph.org/Home/WestNileMap.aspx .
Mosquitoes typically become carriers of the virus after feeding on an infected bird and can then spread the potentially lethal strain to animals and humans. Those at greatest risk include seniors and individuals with compromised immune systems.
Symptoms may never materialize, but can include fever, headache, nausea, body aches, skin rashes and swollen lymph nodes.
Mosquito season in Southern California generally spans May to October. To reduce exposure to mosquitoes carrying WNV, yellow fever, Zika and other diseases, residents are urged to:
— spend as little time as possible outdoors at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are generally on the move;
— wear pants and long-sleeved shirts during outdoor activity;
— use insect repellent;
— ensure door and window screens are fitted properly to keep bugs out; and
— get rid of standing water, aside from pools properly treated with chemicals.
Anyone with concerns should contact the Department of Environmental Health at (951) 766-9454.
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