The latest lab report has confirmed the presence of West Nile virus (WNV) in Culex mosquitoes in the Robindale Road area of northwest Knoxville. Following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol, the Knox County Health Department (KCHD) will spray for mosquitoes in this area on Thursday, Oct. 19 between 8:45 p.m. and 2 a.m., weather permitting, to reduce the Culex mosquito population and the risk of WNV spreading to humans. Signs will be posted in the affected neighborhoods to alert residents, who are asked to stay inside during spraying and keep pets inside or in the backyard. Spray area details and maps are included below.
“While cooler temperatures at night will keep some mosquitoes at bay, we encourage the public to continue to fight the bite until we get our first hard frost, which should kill many of the adult mosquitoes,” said KCHD Vector Control Specialist Nathan Jackson. “Continuing with preventive measures is especially important since we’re still seeing West Nile virus in our mosquitoes.”
Preventing mosquito bites and reducing mosquito habitats is the best way to reduce your risk of WNV. Officials recommend the following:
- Apply repellants to skin often; these can include lotions, liquids or sprays. The CDC recommends the use of repellants containing DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane 3, 8-diol, and IR3535. The duration of protection varies by repellant. Read labels on products to determine when reapplications are necessary for optimal protection.
- Wear socks and long, loose and light-colored shirts and pants.
- Treat clothing with permethrin or purchase pretreated permethrin clothing.
- Dispose of, regularly empty, or turn over any water-holding containers on your property such as tires, cans, flower pots, children’s toys and trash cans.
- To prevent breeding in large water-holding devices, including bird baths or garden pools, use larvicides such as mosquito torpedoes or mosquito dunks. If used properly, larvicides will not harm animals.
- More tips can be found at http://www.knoxcounty.org/health/mosquitoes.php
Robindale Road spray area:
Cumberland Estates subdivision (Robindale Road, Willowdale Drive, Silverhill Drive, Newberry Road, Springbrook Road and portions of Deerfield Road, Landon Drive, Royalview Road, Crestfield Road and Palmetto Road); Short Road; High Drive; and Nickle Road from Western Avenue to High Drive will be treated Thursday, Oct. 19, weather permitting. Follow-up spraying is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 2.
These treatments are in addition to follow-up sprayings previously scheduled for Monday, Oct. 23 in the Dixon Road and Deane Hill Drive areas. A complete schedule of mosquito sprayings is available at knoxcounty.org/health. Any decisions to reschedule sprayings based on weather conditions, such as rain, low temperatures or high winds, will be made at the time of spraying and will be announced the following day.
To reduce the risk of mosquito-borne disease, KCHD conducts a West Nile virus control program during summer and fall months. As the weather warms each spring, public health professionals begin a weekly process of trapping and testing mosquitoes for WNV, a mosquito-borne disease which can infect humans, horses and birds. From March until the first frost, KCHD also uses larvicides in areas with standing water to prevent mosquito proliferation. These efforts are in addition to KCHD’s work to assess and monitor for other mosquito-borne illnesses. More information is available by calling 865-215-5200 or visiting www.knoxcounty.org/health.