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West Nile spray scheduled in Homer City

| Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010

A pesticide-fogging treatment will be applied Monday in the area of Floodway Park in Homer City after a second sample in that area tested positive for West Nile virus, Indiana County officials said Tuesday.

Tom Norris, West Nile virus coordinator for Indiana County, urges residents in the spray area to take precautions prior to the treatment, scheduled for 8 to 10 p.m. Monday.

The second sample in Floodway Park this year was confirmed as positive two days ago after testing by the state Department of Environmental Protection, Norris said. The positive reading came from a sample taken Aug. 18.

Westmoreland County's first positive test involved a blue jay found Aug. 18 in Youngwood.

Because the bird could have flown miles before getting to the borough, a Westmoreland County group will trap for mosquitoes to determine if they test positive for the virus, said Lisa Stipp, West Nile virus coordinator in Westmoreland.

No immediate fogging or spraying is planned, she added.

During the treatment in Indiana County, residents in the fogging area are urged to stay indoors. They should close all windows and not line-dry laundry outside during the designated treatment hours, according to a news release.

All outdoor pet food and water bowls should be emptied or removed from the area, washed and refilled after 10 p.m., county officials said.

Officials said the spray will not harm vegetable gardens or plants, but residents who have concerns might want to cover plants with plastic.

Norris could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The fog will be suspended in the air for about a hour, depending on environmental conditions, and is intended to kill mosquitoes in flight.

The fog will settle on the ground. When the sun rises, ultraviolet rays will break down the pesticide and destroy its chemical makeup, making it harmless, according to the release.

Treatment areas are Miller, Kirk, Highland and Birch avenues; Church, Station and Locust streets; and Pine Alley and roads surrounding Floodway Park.

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