SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Aerial spraying is taking place in parts of Sacramento County in an effort to target and kill mosquito populations.

As of Monday, there have been a total of 156 mosquito samples and 79 dead birds that have tested positive for West Nile virus in the county, According to the Sacramento Yolo Mosquito Vector Control district.

“We usually flip on our fan and open the windows and we’re not planning on doing that tonight,” said one neighbor who lives in the pocket area.

Using low-flying planes, the spraying started right after sunset when mosquitoes are most active in areas with intense West Nile virus activity.

“I know many in the pocket area have been complaining about mosquitos,” said retired state certified entomologist Terry Allen.

Allen has been studying mosquitos for decades, he says.

“The intention is to knock out the mosquito population, the adult mosquito population,” said Allen.

The planes release an EPA-registered insecticide that, according to vector control, is not sprayed in a concentration that is harmful to humans or pets.

The spray covers a 41,000-acre span from the pocket area to Elk Grove, and neighborhoods south of Fruitridge Road.

Many homeowners like Allen have been preparing for the spraying.

“The chairs — I put them under the patio and I picked some tomatoes from my vegetable garden and nectarines in the trees because I just don’t want them sprayed,” said Allen.

Resident Kristi Baumbach is worried about possible health risks from the pesticide.

“It’s scary what we’re exposed to,” said neighbor Kristi Baumbach. “Who knows what it’s doing to our bodies, that’s why we’re just gonna stay inside and close things up.”

“At the low dosage rates we use for this material, less than an ounce per acre, there are no adverse health effects for human health, env, or pets,” said Luz Maria Robles, spokesperson for Sac Yolo Mosquito Vector Control District.

The district says there are no precautions that you must take.

“There are no necessary precautions, but if it makes them feel better, they can certainly stay inside, cover their outdoor furniture, pool,” said Robles.

Allen’s advice is to stay protected during the spraying.

“Close your windows and doors, do not go out after dark, please don’t look up at airplanes,” said Allen.

Allen says it’s also a good idea to bring in your pet food, water bowls, and children’s toys. And if you can’t, rinse them in the morning. Don’t let your pets drink tainted water, and keep your doors windows closed.

The last urban aerial spraying was in 2016. The next spray will take place Tuesday night likely around 8:45 p.m.

Residents can sign up for urban aerial spraying updates by texting “sprayupdate” to 69922. Messages will only be sent to subscribers when aerial spraying is scheduled, on the first scheduled day, and subscribers get a live notification when spraying begins and ends each day.

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