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More aerial spraying considered to halt spread of West Nile virus

The shaded areas are being considered for aerial spraying.
City of Davis and north Sacramento County under watch for mosquitoes and dead birds

As numbers of dead birds and positive samples of West Nile virus continue to mount, officials in Sacramento and Yolo counties are considering more aerial spraying to control mosquitoes.

Another round of aerial spraying may come as early as next week, according to the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District. Lab results due Friday will determine the course of action.

This time, the focus is on the city of Davis in Yolo County plus the Sacramento communities of Citrus Heights, North Highlands, Orangevale, Antelope, Natomas, Elverta and Rio Linda.

“The intensity of the virus continues to escalate and aerial spraying may be necessary in order to protect the health of residents living in these areas,” said district manager Gary Goodman. “We need to act quickly, do everything we can to reduce mosquito populations and ensure they are not a public health threat.”

In late July, the district sprayed Sacramento’s Pocket neighborhood as well as parts of Sacramento County south of Fruitridge Road and the city of Elk Grove.

This has been a bad summer for West Nile virus in the greater Sacramento area, with 19 confirmed human cases.

So far in 2018, the district reports 242 positive mosquito samples and 200 dead birds that tested positive for the virus in Sacramento County. An additional 53 positive samples and 19 dead birds were found in Yolo. Positive samples also have been found in Placer and San Joaquin counties.

Control of mosquitoes that may be carrying the deadly virus is essential, according to the district. Ground spraying and treatment of parks, trails, green belts and creeks have stepped up around Davis and northern Sacramento County.

Residents can sign up for spray alerts via the district’s website. For more information: .

Worried about what these pesticides will do? How to prepare for aerial spraying:


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 26:

Sacramento can expect another inch of rain from this latest storm. Leave the sprinklers off at least another week. Temps will dip down into the low 30s early in the week, so avoid planting tender seedlings (such as tomatoes). Concentrate on these tasks before or after this week’s rain:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Knock off aphids with a strong blast of water or some bug soap as soon as they appear.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to help corral blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees, which are now in bloom and setting fruit.

To prevent sunburn and borer problems on young trees, paint the exposed portion of the trunk with diluted white latex (water-based) interior paint. Dilute the paint with an equal amount of cold water before application.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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