Shelby County spraying for mosquitoes after positive West Nile Virus tests

Shelby County spraying for mosquitoes after West Nile tests come back positive

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - West Nile has been spotted in the Mid-South. One human case has been reported in Mississippi, and mosquitoes in four zip codes in Shelby County tested positive this month. Now, county officials are doing massive mosquito sprays.

Shelby County Vector Control trucks will soon be out on Shelby County streets spraying what officials hope will keep any West Nile-infected mosquito populations from growing. For months, Shelby County Vector Control has been testing mosquitoes and just this month West Nile Virus was detected.

“We have gotten positive results back in one zip code so we waited a little bit and continued the larva sighting,” Shelby County Environmental Health Services Administrator Kasia Smith-Alexander said. “Now that we’ve gotten additional positive testing within the mosquitoes we decided to go ahead and begin spraying.” Three nights this week Vector Control will spray EPA-approved insecticides to control the mosquito population. They’ll start in the areas where infected mosquitoes were found- zip codes 38118 near the airport, 38115 in Hickory Hill, 38104 in midtown and 38133 in Bartlett.

“From there we're going to ripple out from those zip codes to the neighboring zip codes,” Smith-Alexander said. Crews will spend Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night this week spraying eventually covering most of Shelby County. However, it all depends on weather. The schedule will be changed if the chance for rain is 65 percent or higher.

They’ll be spraying evenings from 8 until 11.

“We want to make sure a lot of people aren't outside because if you have asthma or any kind of lung condition it might be an irritant to your breathing,” Smith-Alexander said. Moving forward, officials want you to get rid of any standing water on your property. Vector Control will continue to test the county's mosquitoes every week.

If you do not want you property sprayed, call Vector Control at (901) 222-9715.

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