Mosquito numbers stoke West Nile concerns

A new warning for the public about mosquitoes.

Every summer, Ada County officials urge the community to be aware of mosquito season and West Nile virus, but this week they are asking everyone to pay extra attention to the conditions.

Several mosquito traps have already tested positive for West Nile virus in Ada County this summer.
           
This week the forecast is calling for rain showers which is expected to create new areas of standing water.
           
Mosquito larvae grow in standing water, so anytime rain is in the forecast, mosquito abatement crews are out looking for water that they know will attract the insects. 

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Sam Holt with Ada County Weed, Pest, and Mosquito Abatement says rain coupled with the recent high temperatures creates an ideal environment for mosquitoes to mature faster than normal and spread West Nile virus.

Typically, the larva mature in about one week.

"In the hot temperatures they can go from eggs to adults in about three days," Holt said. "When we see rain in the forecast we start planning after its done raining for new standing water and areas."

After Ada County Mosquito Abatement finds positive results of West Nile in a trap, they post that information on their website and send crews out to fog that area for about a mile around the trap.

There are more than 100 different traps spread across the county that crews regularly check.

Holt says the county knows they will find West Nile every year, and they best thing they can do is just prepare for it.

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“It’s in the area, we are going to find it, so we're able to keep mosquito numbers down after we do aerial applications. With that, it’s looking like a pretty good rest of the season,” said Holt.

No human cases of West Nile have been reported in Ada County this year.

As a reminder, abatement experts suggest you wear bug spray with DEET in it if you will be around standing water, like lakes and rivers.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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