Threat of West Nile Nearing

Updated May 27, 2013

Source: The Advocate

People across the United States will see more than temperatures increase this summer.

The number of mosquitoes are on the rise, and some regions are already on alert and prepared for a rough summer of the pesky bug.

Even though summer begins in a month, regions have already started seeing mosquitoes that are testing positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has informed the public that it is never too early to start protecting themselves, family members and pets from mosquitoes.

“Summer is almost here, and with it the season’s most pesky pest – the mosquito,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “While state agencies will soon be putting their abatement plans in motion, we advise the public to do their part to curb mosquito activity in their own backyards in the hopes of stemming the spread of WNV.”

Henriksen says mosquitoes typically need about a half-inch of water to breed, so removing any standing water will help eliminate that problem.

Source: Perdue UniversitySource: Perdue University

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 5,387 human cases of WNV in 2012, and 243 of which were fatal.

“West Nile Virus is maintained in wild birds; mosquitoes can spread the virus from infected birds to people through bites. The majority of those bitten by a West Nile virus-infected mosquito will experience no symptoms (about 80 percent) or relatively mild illness (about 20 percent); only about 1 in 150 people get the more severe form of the disease,” according to Mosquito Control for Landscape Professionals.

Landscapers should be aware of mosquito breeding grounds in regions of the country that are more prone to mosquitoes. A few ways to do that is check irrigation and drainage ditches for leaks or seepage, grade newly developed land to prevent standing water and provide drainage away from premises for excess irrigation water. 

Symptoms of WNV:

  • Similar to summer flu
  • High fever
  • Head and body aches
  • Confusion
  • Worsening weakness
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