West Nile virus found near Fairgrounds, spraying this weekend

A pool of stagnant water on Gerelock Road in Geddes / photo: Jessica Cain

Onondaga County will spray for mosquitoes this weekend after a suspected case of West Nile virus in a person.

The State Health Department found evidence of West Nile virus in two mosquito pools collected on Gerelock Road in the town of Geddes on August 10th.

People who live on Gerelock Road say they see a lot of mosquitos. They believe the problem stems from stagnant water that used to be part of the Erie Canal.

Kristin Proper, who has two young sons, says she's worried about West Nile virus.

"My boys and my family live here, and we've got this virus, so it's pretty nerve wracking," says Proper.

This is the third finding of West Nile virus in Onondaga County this year. So far, there have been no confirmed cases in humans in Onondaga County this year.

Earlier this month, a pool of mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile near Oneida Shores.

This announcement comes less than a week before the start of the State Fair.

Recently, larviciding (the use of pesticides to control mosquito larvae) was done near the Fairgrounds to help reduce the mosquito population.

Additional ground spraying is scheduled to take place this weekend inside and surrounding the Fairgrounds. The designated spraying area is generally bounded to the north by Rt. 690, to the east by Bridge Street, to the south by Gerelock and Belle Isle Road, and to the west by Rt. 695.

Click here to view a map of the ground spraying area.

The truck spraying is scheduled to take place this Sunday from 7 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., weather permitting. If weather conditions are unfavorable, spraying will occur on Monday night from 7 p.m. To 9 p.m.

The pesticide being used is called Anvil. Health officials say it is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Division of Environmental Conservation for this use. It will be applied at very low concentration and is not expected to cause any adverse reactions. Click here for a copy of the pesticide label.

Keep these tips in mind during the spraying:

- Stay indoors and keep windows closed for one hour after your area has been sprayed- Keep pets indoors if possible- Cover outdoor gardens and rinse vegetables before eating- Set your window air conditioners to circulate indoor air. It is safe to use your central air conditioning- Remove children's toys that are outdoors, any outdoor furniture, and clothes from outdoor clotheslines- If toys or clothes have been left outdoors, wash each thoroughly with soap and water before using and launder clothes before wearing- If you are driving during the spraying, close your car windows and vents

Health officials also want to warn you to take precautions to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes and keep your yard free of any standing water. Remember, mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn. Personal protection is advised during outdoor activities. They include wearing shoes and socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outside for a long period of time and applying a mosquito repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or IR3535. Do not put the repellent directly onto children. Put it on your hands and apply it to your child. Do not put insect repellent on your face. Wash skin and clothing after returning indoors.

Health officials say you should follow these guidelines to reduce mosquito breeding grounds:

- Throw away outdoor tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or containers that hold water- Remove all tires from your property- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors- Clean clogged rain gutters and make sure they continue to work properly- Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use- Change water in bird baths at least every four days- Clear vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds- Clean chlorinated swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs- Drain water from pool covers- Use landscaping to eliminate low spots where standing water accumulates

For more information about how to protect yourself from West Nile virus, call the Onondaga County Health Department, Division of Environmental Health at (315) 435-1649.