Mosquito spraying suspended as season ends

By MICHELE MURPHY

AVON LAKE — While the Lorain County Health District has suspended mosquito spraying for the year, residents living south of Walker Road should not worry that their neighborhoods were not sprayed.

Scott Pozna, environmental health supervisor, said that foul weather made it impossible to spray on the evening of Aug. 24 when the south side of Avon Lake was due to be sprayed. The city’s north side was sprayed the evening before.

Pozna said residents need not be overly concerned because the peak period for humans to come into contact with a mosquito infected with West Nile Virus ends around Labor Day.

Pozna said mosquito activity significantly decreases when daylight hours shorten and temperatures begin to drop into the 50’s at night and stay in the 70’s during the day.

As of Aug. 22, mosquitoes from 616 sites across Lorain County, including some in Avon Lake, had been tested for West Nile Virus. Only 31 sites came back positive, Pozna said, adding those areas were treated first.

He said that should temperatures spike causing mosquito activity to increase, or should the department receive a substantial number of citizen complaints about mosquito activity in an area, they would do some site-specific spraying during September. Otherwise, the program has wound down for 2017.

Avon Lake Mayor Greg Zilka said he was aware that some residents had called the health district to voice concerns over spraying. Zilka said he thought the bulk of calls were from residents living in Bridgeside, Pondside and Hunt Club neighborhoods.

Pozna acknowledged receiving about 30 calls but thought they were scattered across the city. He said most wanted to know what chemicals were being sprayed. Pozna said some recalled the spraying done when West Nile Virus was first detected locally, and the warnings issued at that time about closing windows and staying indoors when spraying occurred. He said the chemicals used now are markedly different. He said, after explaining what is used and how it is dispersed, the vast majority was comfortable.

Pozna added that, when asked, they would skip an area. For example, he said one caller voiced concern for someone who had a bone marrow transplant and was extremely sensitive to any chemicals. In that instance, Pozna said spraying would not be done in the immediate vicinity of that home.

Avon was successfully sprayed during two days the last week of August, Pozna said. Sheffield Village, Sheffield Lake and North Ridgeville had been sprayed earlier.

 

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