Ada County gets aggressive in fight against West Nile Virus

MERIDIAN, Idaho (KBOI) - The Board of Ada County Commissioners and Ada County Mosquito Abatement officials will aerial spray portions of Ada County in order to combat West Nile Virus.

There have only been five confirmed human cases of West Nile in Idaho this year, but 26 testing sites across Ada County have reported mosquitoes testing positive with the virus.

Leaders say the threat is looming, and they don't want to see any cases pop up in Ada County. Mosquito abatement officers say that crews are having a hard time keeping up with their fight on the ground. Instead, they are taking to the skies for a more widespread attack that will help them regain control.

Aerial spray was used to combat West Nile in Ada County back in 2006. That summer however, nearly 1,000 people were sickened before leaders made the decision to spray. This year, they don't want to wait for anyone to get sick to take action.

The aerial spray will cover 24,000 acres in northwest Ada County, primarily north of I-84 and west of Eagle Rd. Meridian, Star and portions of Eagle will all be sprayed.

Spraying will be done between 9:00 and midnight, and will take one or two nights to complete. Mosquito abatement officers say the chemicals are safe, and wouldn't harm anyone even if it were sprayed in the daylight hours.

If you have a garden, simply wash off your fruit and vegetables as you would if you bought them from a grocery store.

Leaders say they are looking to start spraying as early as Thursday, depending on the weather conditions.

However, you should still wear bug spray with DEET in it, and take other precautions to protect yourself if you are outside between dusk and dark.