City residents who hear or see a low-flying helicopter in the early morning hours starting Saturday need not be alarmed.
Driving the news: The helicopter is being used as part of a mosquito control program by the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District (CVMVCD) to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases in the area.
- CVMVCD is targeting an invasive species of mosquito, Aedes aegypti, that can transmit viruses such as chikungunya, dengue and Zika.
- These mosquitoes are black and white, bite during the day, and prefer to breed in artificial containers around households.
Zoom in: The helicopter will be applying a product called VectoBac WDG, which contains a natural soil bacterium that kills mosquito larvae in standing water, preventing them from becoming adult mosquitoes.
- The product is environmentally friendly, approved for organic crops, and has no effect on people, pets, plants or wildlife.
What to watch for: The treatments are scheduled on Saturdays from July 22 to Sept. 23, from 1 a.m. until 7 a.m., weather permitting.
- The application area is within the boundaries of Racquet Club Road, Sunrise Way, Alejo Road and the base of the San Jacinto Mountains.
But wait: You can do your part to help as well. CVMVCD urges residents to help reduce mosquito breeding sites by eliminating any standing water around their homes.
- You can also protect yourself from mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves and pants, using repellents, and installing screens on doors and windows.
Details: Need more information? You can find it at this link.