(WKBN) – A familiar sight will be returning to the skies over the Valley again, starting next week.
Crews with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Department of Health will be flying over eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania — from Lake Erie to the Ohio River — dropping baits containing rabies vaccine for raccoons and other wildlife.
The project based out of North Lima will take place in early to mid-August.
Beginning August 1, USDA staff will distribute baits by vehicle in several towns, including East Palestine, Hubbard, Lisbon, Newton Falls and Warren. Baits will also be dispersed during the second week of August in Cortland, East Liverpool, Salem, Warren and Youngstown.
From approximately August 18-23, baits will be distributed by fixed-wing airplanes in rural areas of eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, including large portions of Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties.
Approximately 500,000 baits will be distributed in Ohio alone.
The baits will be in a blister pack covered in a waxy-green coating that has a sugar-vanilla smell. It’s designed to attract wild animals, such as raccoons and skunks.
According to the USDA, the baits are safe if pets get into them, but people are told to leave them undisturbed, if possible. If a pet eats several baits, it is possible that they will cause some vomiting and diarhhea.
Organizers have been doing this since the late 1990s, hoping to control the spread of the virus.
Chelsea Simeon contributed to this report.