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West Ventura County Focus

CAMARILLO : Rains May Delay Malathion Spraying

November 09, 1994|J. E. MITCHELL

With meteorologists forecasting a 60% chance of showers beginning this evening, a trio of helicopters may not make their third malathion-spraying mission to combat the crop-eating Medfly today, said Larry Hawkins, an official with the Cooperative Medfly Project.

Hawkins said the spray operations in eastern Camarillo could also be delayed or canceled for the evening if winds are more than 15 m.p.h. A decision on tonight's operations will not be reached until late this afternoon.

"Our rule of thumb is that we won't go if there is a 50% chance of rain or greater in the 24 hours after an application," Hawkins said. "After all, it's not very effective if it just washes away."

In addition, authorities battling the Medfly infestation say they will adjust their spraying schedule near the Thanksgiving Day holiday so not to inconvenience residents living in the 16-square-mile spray zone.

Instead of spraying Nov. 23--Thanksgiving eve--cooperative officials said they will move up the spraying 24 hours.

"We felt that it would be easier on everyone by moving it one day," said Douglas Hendrix, a cooperative spokesman. "Additionally, we felt that on the night before a big holiday, there would probably be more people running around later in the evening."

An 86-square-mile quarantine zone was established after the Medflies were discovered Sept. 29 near St. John's Seminary. So far, 63 of the pests have been discovered, but there has not been a new find since Oct. 6, Hendrix said.

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