The latest lab report has confirmed the presence of West Nile virus (WNV) in Culex mosquitoes in the Fourth Avenue, Tower Drive, Choto/Heron’s Point, and Gulf Park/Venice Road areas of Knox County. Following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol, the Knox County Health Department (KCHD) will spray for mosquitoes in these areas on Thursday, Oct. 11 between 8:30 p.m. and 2 a.m., weather permitting, to reduce the Culex mosquito population and the risk of WNV spreading to humans. Signs will be posted in the affected neighborhoods to alert residents, who are asked to stay inside during spraying and keep pets inside or in the backyard.
“We’ll have to watch the weather closely this Thursday to make sure conditions are suitable for spraying,” said KCHD Environmental Health Director Ronnie Nease. “It’s important for the public to know that even though fall weather is here, mosquitoes will still be active until we have our first good frost.”
Weather conditions such as rain, high winds, and temperatures near or below 55 degrees can compromise the effectiveness of the spray. Any decision to cancel sprayings based on weather conditions will be made at the time of spraying and will be announced the following day.
To reduce your risk of WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases, KCHD recommends:
- Applying repellants to skin often; these can include lotions, liquids or sprays. The CDC recommends the use of repellants containing one of the following ingredients: DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone or IR3535. The duration of protection varies by repellant. Read labels on products to determine when reapplications are necessary for optimal protection.
- Wearing socks and long, loose and light-colored shirts and pants.
- Treating clothing with permethrin or purchase pretreated permethrin clothing.
- Disposing of, regularly emptying, or turning over any water-holding containers on your property such as tires, cans, flower pots, children’s toys and trash cans.
- Using larvicides, such as mosquito torpedoes or mosquito dunks, to prevent breeding in large water-holding containers, including bird baths and garden water features. If used properly, larvicides will not harm animals. More tips can be found at www.knoxcounty.org/health/mosquitoes.
Fourth Avenue Spray Area: Cooper Street north of West Fifth Avenue; West Fifth Avenue from Cooper Street to Boyd Street; West Fourth Avenue; Elm Street; Marion Street; Dameron Avenue; Hatton Avenue; Burgess Avenue; Baxter Avenue from Elm Street to Wray Street; Lee Street; and Bernard Avenue will be treated on Thursday, Oct. 11, weather permitting. Follow-up spraying is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 25, weather permitting.
Tower Drive: Aurora Lane; Charlene Lane; Woodale Drive; Old Central Avenue Pike; Steeple Chase Apartment complex; Pratt Road; Tower Drive; Lawrence Road; Caron Drive; Sierra Road; Chesswood Drive; Woodleaf Drive; Sanford Road; Lutie Road; Oakcrest Road; Tillman Road; Rowan Road south to Henrietta Drive; Henrietta Drive east to Willoway Drive; Delapp Drive; and Griffins Gate Lane will be treated Thursday, Oct. 11, weather permitting. Follow-up spraying is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 25th.
Choto/Heron’s Point: Subdivisions include Amber Woods, Bayview West, Choto Farms, Heron’s Point, Livery, Mallard Bay, Tanglewood, Walnut Grove and the Woods at Montgomery Cove will be treated Thursday, October 11, weather permitting. Follow-up spraying is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 25th.
Gulf Park/Venice Road: Dutchtown Road from Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) to Blessed Way including Manis Lane and the area around CAK; Embarcadero Drive; Cortez Drive; Tallahassee Drive; Sanders Road from Dutchtown Road to Venice Road; Venice Road; Ethans Glen Drive; Tampa Road; Suwannee Road; Gulf Park Drive; Galveston Road; Naples Road; Sarasota Drive; Mobile Drive; Briarwood Drive; Laurel Hill Road; and the areas around Cedar Bluff Primary and Cedar Bluff Middle School will be treated Thursday, Oct. 11th, weather permitting. Follow-up spraying is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 25th.
A complete schedule of mosquito sprayings is available at knoxcounty.org/health.
To reduce the risk of mosquito-borne disease, KCHD conducts a West Nile virus control program during summer and fall months. As the weather warms each spring, public health professionals begin a weekly process of trapping and testing mosquitoes for WNV, a mosquito-borne disease which can infect humans, horses and birds. From March until the first frost, KCHD also uses larvicides in areas with standing water to prevent mosquito proliferation. These efforts are in addition to KCHD’s work to assess and monitor for other mosquito-borne illnesses. More information is available by calling 865-215-5200 or by visiting www.knoxcounty.org/health.