Mississippi helicopter to help fight West Nile in Louisiana

SLIDELL, La. (AP) — A Louisiana parish is bringing in a helicopter from Mississippi to fight West Nile virus this year.

A news release says the helicopter will drop anti-mosquito bacteria into a St. Tammany Parish neighborhood where one-fifth of the parish's infected mosquito pools were found last year. The 30-day pilot program will begin the third week of May in the Tammany Hills neighborhood.

The bacteria naturally infect fly larvae, including mosquito larvae.

St. Tammany Parish Mosquito Abatement director Kevin Caillouet says several Florida counties have been using this treatment for years.

The Mosquito Abatement team puts larvicide into parish roadside ditches, but the helicopter can reach standing water that the team cannot easily get to, such as small ponds and unmaintained swimming pools.

The parish contract is with Blackstar Helicopter of Picayune, Mississippi.