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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fighting the Bite

Thursday, June 2, 2011

If you spotted a blue helicopter hovering over Santee today (June 1), you were seeing a contractor for the county dropping a larvae-killing pesticide to combat mosquitoes that reproduce in the ponds of San Diego River.
The pesticide, two types of bacteria that are mixed with corn meal and pressed into granules, is not harmful to humans or wildlife, and doesn’t affect any insects except mosquito larvae, county officials said. The objective is to reduce the mosquito population as well as the risk of West Nile virus.

Before the helicopter arrives, County Vector Control officials drive to the mosquito-prone areas to warn hikers and pedestrians so they can avoid being near the drop zones when the anti-mosquito granules are released, she said.

Each month during mosquito breeding season, the county commission’s helicopters drop the anti-larvae agents at 43 locations countywide, including four drop sites in Santee, in a single day.

Vector control agents are scheduled to return to Santee on June 7. They’ll be using a boat to spray a liquid larvicide at the ponds at Mast Park West, where, in the past, mosquitoes have been especially prolific.

More information is available on the County website.

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