Dry weather means low mosquito counts
West Nile surveillance activities have begun in the state for the virus that is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito.
The good news is that over the last few years there has been a decrease overall in the number of cases occurring, according to Cass County Vector Control Director Ben Prather.
He said that the mosquito season so far in West Fargo has been a good one with trap counts shaping up to be a little bit unusual over the past, in that so far there hasn't been a high prevalence of any mosquitoes in West Fargo. This all due to the lack of winter snowfall and any type of heavy participation so far this spring or summer.
With the slight increase in precipitation recently, conditions are now becoming a little more favorable for mosquitoes to populate but so far that has not occurred to any highly measurable degree.
A strong indicator of West Nile is linked to warmer temperatures, with the area already experiencing several days in the 80 to 90 degree range recently.
Prather said Vector Control crews will remain vigilant, continuing to monitor the situation in an effort to minimize any threat of mosquitoes including the West Nile carrying kind.
This preventative action will include spraying actively for adult mosquitos in public places and right of ways, as well as focusing just a little bit more on any standing water, even though the ditches are relatively dry compared to previous years.
As for actual ground spraying, there has been no citywide fogging yet, but that could occur the end of the month in advance of the Fourth of July holiday to eliminate any threat that may be lingering for disease carrying mosquitos.
Even though counts are presently down, Prather said there are still some of the pesky bugs out there making it necessary to rely on bug repellent for extended stays outdoors.
Other effective protective measures include: wearing protective clothing, such as long sleeved shirts and pants; limiting your outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most likely to bite; eliminating any standing water you might have anywhere on your property, such as buckets, flowerpots, old tires, wading pools or birdbaths; and keeping the grass around your home trimmed.
For more information, about the West Nile Virus visit: www.ndhealth.gov/wnv.