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Air spraying begins in Sacramento, Elk Grove, to wipe out mosquitoes

Massive mosquito killing is planned for Monday night and Tuesday night in much of Sacramento County, where 67 birds died of West Nile virus.

The two-day aerial spraying operation begins at sunset and continues until midnight in neighborhoods south of Fruitridge Road to Franklin Boulevard in Elk Grove.

Three aircraft – one Cessna and two Pipers – will launch a pesticide called Trumpet from about 300 feet above the ground.


Mosquito and Vector Control District in Sacramento-Yolo

"Many mosquitoes were tested positive, as were dead birds that tested positive for the virus," said Luz Maria Robles, a spokeswoman for the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District.

Robles said 142 mosquito samples in Sacramento County had been tested positive for West Nile, with the highest concentration in Sacramento's Pocket Neighborhood and Elk Grove.

Approximately 41,000 acres are being treated in the spraying operation designed to eliminate mosquitoes that may carry the harmful virus that can cause disease or even death in humans.

The aircraft for the mission will be 60 to 90 gallons of pesticide, which the Environmental Protection Agency said is non-toxic to humans. It is very effective in killing mosquitoes.

"They die within 15 minutes," said Malcom Williams, head of the air department of Vector Disease Control International.

Williams said that people do not have to worry about spraying.

"The pesticide is engineered at a speed and a droplet size so it does not affect anything bigger than a mosquito," Williams said.

Apart from a stiff wind, three mosquito-killing aircraft will be in the air Monday night.

"Our technology will calculate up to 15 mph of wind," Williams said. "We like to do it at 10 (mph) – not more than 10. But we can do it up to 15 (mph) and do it exactly."


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