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Insecticide spraying planned in Georgetown

The city of Georgetown will be spraying insecticide in the north side of the downtown area Wednesday night after a mosquito trap sample taken last week tested positive for the West Nile Virus, officials said.

The positive test was indicated in lab results received Tuesday afternoon from the Texas Department of State Health Services lab in Austin, the city said in a news release. The species of mosquito that tested positive for West Nile Virus was culex quinquefasciatus, also known as the Southern house mosquito, which has a flight range of about one mile, the release said.

Because of the number of children and adults who will be outside for Halloween activities over the weekend, the area within a half-mile radius of the trap’s location — approximately at S. Main and E. Fourth streets — will be sprayed with a pyrethrin-based insecticide along the street right-of-way and in public parks. Pyrethrin is a chemical that can be found in chrysanthemums, the release said.

The spraying will be done if the wind speed is less than 10 mph and it will help reduce the adult mosquito population in that area, it said. The city will continue to use larvicide tablets to treat standing water found on public property.

There are no reported human cases of West Nile Virus in Williamson County, officials said, and the county has not had any reported human cases since 2014.

Because mosquitoes breed in standing or stagnant water, eliminating places where they can breed and reducing the chances of mosquito bites are the most effective lines of defense against exposure to West Nile Virus. The city recommends:

• Drain standing water in flower pots, pet dishes, or clogged gutters so mosquitoes don’t have a place to breed and treat water that can’t be drained

• Defend by using an EPA-approved insect repellent

• Dress in long sleeves and pants when outdoors.

“Residents have a key role in reducing mosquito breeding areas by draining pans and flower pots and putting larvicide disks in puddles or ponds on private property,” says Mark Miller, the city’s transportation services manager.

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