San Diego County to spray for mosquitoes in Del Mar

Pesticide spraying began before dawn May 18 in neighborhoods north of the Los Penasquitos Lagoon, where increasing numbers of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus.

The ground spraying is scheduled between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. north of Carmel Valley Road, between the Coast Highway and Interstate 5. The boundaries include the Seapoint Townhomes and Pointe Del Mar developments.

County officials said spraying will continue early May 19, and May 20 if necessary. The pesticide is generally delivered from the air, but a truck will be used in this instance because the area isn’t very large.

The county sprays annually to prevent the spread of West Nile virus, which can be transmitted by mosquitoes to humans. In most cases, people don’t notice any symptoms, but the illness can sometimes turn serious. Last year, 44 human cases of the virus were reported to county health officials, six of them fatal.

County officials said they spray low volumes of a pesticide considered to be of low risk to humans or pets.

Residents who want to avoid the spray can keep themselves and their pets indoors overnight, close doors and windows, shut off any fans that circulate outside air into the home, and rinse homegrown fruit and vegetables.

Outdoor activities can be resumed a half-hour after spraying, county officials said.