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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2006 Media Releases

August 11, 2006
UPDATED: August 21, 2006
For More Information Contact:
John Chess, Water Quality Supervisor, 441-8027


Due to concerns about a potential West Nile Virus (WNV) disease outbreak, the City of Lincoln will continue spraying selected areas to kill the adults mosquitoes which may be carrying the WNV. “Unfortunately, the lack of wind in the evenings prevented us from spraying except one night last week,” said John Chess, Program Supervisor with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. Spraying is scheduled Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening this week. “As expected, following the rain earlier this month, we are receiving reports of increasing numbers of mosquitoes,” said Chess.

The initial decision to spray was based on:

  • a third human case of West Nile illness in Lancaster County;
  • mosquitoes and dead birds testing positive for WNV;
  • higher numbers of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes, which transmits WNV to people;
  • the recent very hot weather, which activates the virus; and
  • the heavy rain on Tuesday, which created new breeding sites for mosquitoes.

Since the decision was made to spray, 10 addition human cases have been reported in Nebraska and two blood donors have been found to be positive in Lancaster County.

WNV can cause severe illness in people and may result in long term hospitalization and even death. In 2003, 129 people in Lancaster County were diagnosed with West Nile Disease, and two died. Many were affected quite severely, and required weeks or months of rehabilitation. Some have not fully recovered from having WNV disease.

The City of Lincoln will spray selected areas to kill adult mosquitoes. Weather permitting, mosquito spraying will be conducted, Monday, August 21, Tuesday August 22, and Wednesday August 23. Spraying will usually be conducted in the evenings when the mosquitoes that carry WNV are most active. The following areas are scheduled to be sprayed:

  • Pioneers Blvd. on the north, Pine Lake on the south, 70th St. on the east, and Wilderness Park on the west.
  • Cornhusker Highway on the north, O Street on the south, 70th on the east, and 9th Street on the west.

Spraying will be done by certified pesticide applicators from the Parks and Recreation and Public Works and Utilities Departments using state-of-the-art sprayers mounted on the back of city pick-up trucks. The pesticide being used will be Anvil 2+2, which is one of the safest pesticides available for mosquito control. The active ingredient is Sumrithrin, a synthetic chemical derived from Chrysanthemums.

If people wish to reduce their exposure to the spray they can:

  1. Close all windows and doors. Air conditioners can still be operated, but if they have vents to bring in outside air, they should be closed. Vents can be opened 30 minutes after spraying is done.
  2. Stay inside their home.
  3. Bring pets inside and wait for at least 30 minutes to let them back outside.
  4. Bring children’s toys, pet bowls, and clothes inside. (Note: outdoor equipment and toys that are exposed to pesticide can be washed with soap and water.)
  5. Not allow children to play in areas that have just been sprayed for at least 30 minutes. For extra safety, don’t let children play on the grass until it is dry to the touch.
  6. Wash fruits and vegetables before eating them.

People with extremely sensitive allergies to pyrethroid pesticides or severe asthma may contact the Health Department at 441-8040 and ask that spraying not be done on their property.

Because spraying does not kill all mosquitoes, the public is encouraged to take responsible actions to “Fight the Bite.” These actions include protecting yourself by using effective mosquito repellent (e.g. containing DEET or Picaridin) whenever you are outdoors, avoiding being outside during dawn and dusk, and wearing long sleeved shirts and pants when possible. The directions on the product label should be followed. In addition, the Health Department urges all residents to eliminate breeding sites on their own property by eliminating standing water, dumping containers that are holding water, and changing water in pet bowls and bird baths daily.

Mayor's Office    Media Releases