No Pesticides in OC Community: Petitioners Say

More than 1,400 Orange County residents signed a petition Thursday, asking Orange County Vector Control officials not to spray pesticides.

"My kids play in the dirt. They eat it," parent Cathryn Madrid said. "I don't know what would happen to them if vector control sprayed."

Even though Orange County has the lead the state in West Nile virus cases, vector control officials say they've never sprayed. But this year, they might have to says agency spokeswoman Mary Joy Coburn who adds that mosquitoes are breading earlier due to warm weather.

Vector Control has tracked invasive mosquitoes in 10 different Orange County locations.

"We don't want to spray. That would be the final method," Coburn said. She said research indicates the pesticides used have very little negative impact.

Before they spray, officials are going door to door, collecting samples. Thursday, they found more than 500 larvae in 1/2 cup of stagnant water at one Garden Grove address.

"We will take this back to the lab for testing," Coburn said.

A community meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Tustin Community Center and the Vector Control board will vote on the decision to spray pesticides next month.

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