The Washoe County Health District will conduct its fourth mosquito abatement on Thursday morning.

The helicopter larviciding will cover over 800 acres and be conducted in the Silver Lake, Swan Lake, Lemmon Valley, Kiley Ranch, Red hawk, Rosewood Lakes, Butler Ranch, South Meadows, Damonte Ranch and Washoe Valley areas. 

The application comes after Washoe County’s first positive tests for West Nile Virus in mosquitoes were confirmed in late July. There have been no positive human cases reported in 2018.

The County says the chemical health officials will be spraying is known as Vectolex and Altosid and poses no risk to humans, fish or beneficial insects like bees. The biological larvicide stops the growth of biting mosquitoes and can prevent the spread of viruses such as West Nile. 

While monthly larviciding is expected to reduce the number of mosquitoes in the area, health officials remind people that they also should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. 

To avoid mosquito bites:

• Wear proper clothing and repellent if going outdoors when mosquitoes are most active - in the early morning and evening;

• Use a repellant containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 according to label instructions. Repellents keep the mosquitoes from biting you. DEET can be used safely on infants and children 2 months of age and older. Applications can be put directly on the skin and also on clothing;

• Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep mosquitoes out. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes;

• Clear standing water and any items from around homes that can be potential mosquito breeding-grounds, including pools, planters, children’s sandboxes, wagons or toys, pet bowls, and small puddles underneath and around faucets; and,

• Vaccinate your horses for WNV. 

If you are experiencing biting mosquitoes call the Vector-Borne Diseases Program at 785-4599, and staff will investigate the source of these adult mosquitoes. 

(Washoe County contributed to this report.)