TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Pest experts from the Twin Falls County Pest Abatement District confirmed mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus in the Magic Valley.
The samples were taken Saturday and returned positive Monday. The mosquitoes were pulled from just north of Filer by the Snake River. South Central Public Health District reminds people to take precautions to avoid the spread of West Nile Virus (WNV).
“Avoiding areas with lots of standing water is gonna be important mosquitoes are out predominantly in the morning around sunrise and then around sunset,” said Jacob Ward from South Central Public Health District.
Ward also mentioned wearing long sleeve shirts and using bug repellent speciffically with Deet in them are good ways to stop from contracting WNV. Brian Simper is the manager at the Twin Falls County Pest Abatement District and said they can help anyone trying to keep mosquito populations down.
"Just drain standing water if you can if not contact us, we would love to come out and help and do a survey. If we can treat that area, we and that will prevent mosquitoes from hatching out,” Simper said.
WNV is endemic to Idaho and has shown up around the summer time every year. Simper said its timing can affect the spread.
“It’s a lot better to find it near the end of August compared to the beginning of June so we are in good shape in that regard,” Simper said. "Anything below 40 degrees kind of makes mosquitoes go into hibernation a little bit they will start looking for sugars rather than blood meals so we will see less bites.”
Even if you do get bitten and contract WNV, over 70% of cases are asymptomatic and there were only 16 cases total in Idaho last year.
To help prevent the spread of West Nile, officials with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare recommend taking the following precautions:
- Wear repellent containing DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (all EPA-approved repellents) according to the label.
- Remove standing water around your home - this is where mosquitoes like to breed.
- Cover up your skin with clothing between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.