By ROBERT S. MERRILL
No reports of West Nile Virus (WNV) have been reported in mosquitos trapped in Franklin County. But two pools in Box Elder County have tested positive for WNV.
Denny Giles, of the county’s mosquito abatement district, said he and other employees are currently setting five mosquito traps per night, four nights per week in different locations across Franklin County to test for West Nile.
“So far we’ve found the species of mosquito that transmit West Nile. They make up about one-third of all mosquitos we get in the traps,” he said. “But nothing has tested positive for the disease yet.”
Giles said since temperatures have heated up the past four weeks, numbers of mosquitos in the traps have really gone up.
“We are at the height of the mosquito season right now. Even though we have not had any positive hits for West Nile locally, it’s around us. People need to take precautions to limit exposure to mosquito bites,” he said. “Folks who are outside need to wear long-sleeve shirts and pants in the evening, at night and early morning. Repellant containing DEET is also advised.”
Giles said county residents need to go over their property and make sure buckets, flowerpots and anything else that can hold water is drained to prevent breeding areas for mosquitos. Mosquito eggs are capable of hatching in only a tiny amount of standing water. Unused ditches need to be cleaned, as well, to avoid stagnant, standing water, he added.
“I think mosquito abatement efforts so far this summer in Franklin County have resulted in significant reductions of the biting pests and there’s been lots of success in Banida and other areas, typically known for high infestations of the bothersome insect,” he said.
Giles said there are many sloughs and standing water in areas from Banida to Weston that are ideal for mosquito breeding. Giles and his crew started applying larvacide in many areas the first part of April.
“Larvacide is by far the most effective control method for mosquitos that we have. It kills more of the insects than anything else we do,” he said.
Larvacide is a pre-emergent chemical that kills mosquitos in the water before they emerge as adults. Adulticide, or fogging adult insects in targeted areas, has also been employed as a control measure across Franklin County.
This story is sponsored by Oneida Stake Academy.
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