County launches aerial attack on mosquitos

SAN DIEGO — As temperatures rise and spring turns to summer, the County of San Diego takes to the skies to drop larvicide designed to nip mosquito-borne illnesses in the bud.

A helicopter launched to drop the poison on about 48 rivers, streams, ponds and other waterways Wednesday for the first time this year.

The larvicide doesn’t hurt people or pets but kills mosquito larvae before they can grow into biting adults.

The waterways targeted Wednesday amount to more than 1,000 acres stretching from Chula Vista in the south to Fallbrook in the north, Oceanside in the west and Lakeside in the east.

County Vector Control also treats potential mosquito breeding areas by hand, gives out free mosquito-eating fish, treats neglected swimming pool, tests dead birds for West Nile virus and monitors cases for breakouts of illness — all part of the county’s mosquito control program.