Health District – Vector Borne Disease Program to begin aerial mosquito abatement May 5

by | May 4, 2022

May 4, 2022. Reno/Sparks, Nev. The Washoe County Health District (WCHD) – Vector Borne Disease Program (VBD) will be conducting aerial larviciding applications to treat mosquito larvae beginning May 5, 2022. Aerial treatment via helicopter will begin Thursday morning in the North Valleys and Spanish Springs and end in South Washoe County covering about 1,000 acres.

Aerial larviciding applications are a key component to prevent West Nile virus (WNV) and creating a safer recreational environment for residents and visitors to Washoe County and the Truckee Meadows region. The main source of West Nile virus transmission to humans is from mosquitoes. Cases of WNV can occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall.

West Nile virus cases are common in Washoe County. People who have WNV often report mild symptoms include fever, headache, and body aches, often with skin rash and swollen lymph glands.  More severe cases experience headache, high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, coma, tremors, paralysis, and death.

The Health District only uses mosquito control products that are environmentally friendly and only target mosquito larvae in the water to inhibit their ability to become biting adults. Larviciding, which is done by dropping small pellets and not liquid or spray, has no adverse effects to animals or humans in those areas.

Aerial larviciding applications take place in areas where mosquitoes are prevalent, which includes wetlands and other water sources adjacent to public access, housing, and population sources. Specific areas to be targeted are North Valleys, Swan Lake, Double Diamond/Damonte area and Washoe Lake.

Tips to prevent mosquito bites

The best way to decrease the chance of mosquito bites, and West Nile virus, when recreating outside is to use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents (Find list here). It’s also advised to wear pants and long-sleeve shirts to cover your skin and treat clothing with above mentioned insect repellent.

Additional planned aerial larviciding dates (subject to change):

  • June 9, 2022
  • July 14, 2022
  • August 18, 2022
  • September 22, 2022

Check the WCHD – VBD website for more information on mosquito treatment, source reduction, preventative measures, and live updates.

Media: For interviews and b-roll opportunities, contact Scott Oxarart,

The Washoe County Health District is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board and has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County through the policy-making Washoe County District Board of Health. The District consists of five divisions: Administrative Health Services, Air Quality Management, Community and Clinical Health Services, Environmental Health Services and Epidemiology & Public Health Preparedness. More info can be found here.