Responding to a significant increase in West Nile virus detection in Fullerton, officials will begin a program of truck-mounted pesticide spraying in the area Thursday.
The pesticide application will cover 3,989 properties in the city, said Lora Young of the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District.
One spraying will cover Gilbert and Euclid streets, north of Orangethorpe Avenue up to West Valencia Drive, Young said. A second spraying will cover West Commonwealth and West Malvern avenues, west of North Woods Avenue.
From Aug. 24 through Sept. 28, there were 29 positive samples of WNV among mosquitoes in Fullerton, and two people tested positive for the virus, Young said.
Twenty-seven of the 29 samples were found in the areas that the district plans to spray from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. each day through Saturday, Young said. One of the people who tested positive for the virus resides in that area, she added.
In the past, the pesticide applications have stirred debate among some residents in Orange County, but Young said the district this time will be using DeltaGard, which is a water-based pesticide, and it will be “severely diluted.”
Local laboratory tests have shown the pesticide to be effective, Young said. It’s the district’s first time using DeltaGard, which she said is considered safe for people, pets and will not harm the finishes on cars or homes.
DeltaGard has gone through several regulatory checks by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the state EPA and the county’s agricultural department, Young said.
Officials have not been able to pinpoint a specific reason for the increase in West Nile virus activity in Fullerton, Young said.
“It could be a number of small backyard sources contributing to that,” she said.
Residents are encouraged to eliminate any standing water around structures, install or repair screens on windows and doors, and wear insect repellant.