UPDATE: The aerial spray was canceled on Sunday afternoon due to poor weather conditions and a low mosquito trap count.

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An aerial mosquito control application is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 19, between 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., weather permitting. Should the spray be rescheduled, it would then take place the following evening.

Over the last four weeks, the Greater Grand Forks region has received 4-5 inches of rain, thereby providing ideal habitat for mosquitoes and a new hatch, according to a city press release. Therefore, the Cities of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks will have Airborne Vector Control conduct a city-wide mosquito spray. Airborne Vector Control specializes in this type of work. They will deploy two aircraft to complete the spray. During the spray, the aircraft will be flying at low levels over the city, the release said.

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Meanwhile, the cities of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks continue to urge citizens to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, according to the release.

Grand Forks Mosquito Control continues to see the Culex tarsalis mosquitoes in their traps. Culex tarsalis mosquitoes are the most common mosquitoes for transmitting West Nile Virus in the region. Although the end of the West Nile virus season is nearing, there is still a risk of being infected with WNV by mosquitoes. This disease can affect anyone but those over age 50 or people having underlying health conditions are at greater risk of developing the more severe form of the disease. Preventing mosquito bites is the most effective way to avoid WNV.

The Culex tarsalis mosquito is most active from sundown and throughout the night into the early morning hours. To help reduce your risk of getting WNV, the Health Department recommends the following protective measures:

  • Use insect repellent that contains DEET.
  • Limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts when possible.
  • Eliminate standing water around homes (e.g., buckets, flowerpots, old tires, wading pools and birdbaths).

To ensure spray effectiveness during the spraying operations, the wind must be 10 mph or less and no inclement weather present. Winds higher than 10 mph or inclement weather will result in the spraying being cancelled or suspended until conditions improve.

These applications have been approved by the FAA and the appropriate state departments. Specially-trained and licensed pilots are assisting in the control of mosquitoes in this area. The mosquito control product is one specifically designed for use in residential areas. It is safe to use and will not harm people, pets, or gardens. However, as an added measure of safety, you may remain indoors while the application is taking place.