LEMON GROVE, Calif. — A Lemon Grove neighborhood will be sprayed early next week, in the wake of the discovery of mosquitoes capable of carrying tropical diseases near the home of a person who contracted the Zika virus, county officials reported Thursday.
The county has conducted six precautionary hand-sprayings since mid- August after Aedes mosquitoes were discovered in the vicinity of residences of people suffering from Zika. Officials want to prevent a situation where the mosquitoes acquire the disease from the infected person and spread it to others.
The spray-area in Lemon Grove has borders of San Miguel Avenue on the north, Corona Street on the west, midway between Tweed Street and Brunei Court on the south and midway between New Jersey Avenue and Buena Vista Avenue to the east.
The Zika virus came to light earlier this year when some infected pregnant women gave birth to babies with microcephaly, which causes an infant’s head and brain to be smaller than normal. Around 20 percent of people who contract Zika actually get sick.
Like other local victims, the Lemon Grove resident contracted Zika while traveling.
The pesticide used by the county, Pyrenone 25-5, is derived from chrysanthemums and is not the same insecticide that killed millions of honeybees last week after aerial sprayings in Florida and in South Carolina.
County officials say Pyrenone 25-5 poses low risks to people and pets and dissipates in roughly 20-30 minutes.
However, area residents who want to minimize their exposure can take precautionary steps, including:
— staying inside and bringing pets indoors if possible;
— closing doors and windows;
— turning off fans that bring outdoor air inside the home;
— covering ornamental fish ponds to avoid direct exposure;
— rinsing fruits and vegetables from gardens with water before cooking or eating;
— wiping down or covering outdoor items such as toys; and
— covering barbecue grills.
County officials also issued a reminder to residents to help control mosquitoes themselves by emptying standing water from buckets, old tires and the like, and reporting daylight bites, or mosquitoes that match the description of Aedes mosquitoes, by contacting the county Vector Control Program at 858-694-2888.
The Aedes mosquitoes have several differences from their native counterparts — they’re smaller, can be found inside homes and like to feed during the day instead of dawn and dusk.