Health

Coachella Vector Control spraying for mosquitoes again

Zika is primarily spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Zika is primarily spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Andre Penner/AP

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The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District is spraying for mosquitoes again this weekend. The agency sprayed last week, but the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that can carry the Zika virus continue to infest several Coachella neighborhoods.

Last week's operation, with crews spraying from trucks, covered about 300 homes in a 160-acre area. 

To test the effectiveness of those treatments, the vector control agency set up traps in a number of front and backyards. It concluded that the effort had killed up to 75 percent of the mosquitoes on some streets, but was less effective on others. Coachella Vector Control attributes that to shifting winds, and says some yards are harder to penetrate from the street.

"We were fairly happy with the results of our first round of truck-mounted applications carried out last week," said Jeremy Wittie, the district's general manager. "But our ultimate goal is not just to reduce these mosquitoes, but eliminate them entirely if at all possible." 

The agency started spraying from trucks again early Friday morning, this time in a 580-acre area encompassing nearly 1,000 homes. The work will resume between 2:30 a.m. and 5 a.m., weather permitting, Saturday and Sunday.

Coachella Vector Control wants to eliminate the Aedes aegypti because of its ability to carry various infectious diseases, including Zika. None of the Aedes mosquitoes found so far in California were carrying Zika.

The agency is also preparing to use helicopters and planes to carry out larval and adult control applications in the coming weeks.