Indianola residents may soon start noticing an increase in mosquito truck spraying in and around their neighborhoods. A press release from Mayor Steve Rosenthal, dated August 14, confirmed that three mosquito traps recently set in Indianola have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.
Vector Disease Control International, the city’s contractor for mosquito control, reported the findings. According to the release, no human cases have been reported to date and finding the virus in the mosquitoes helps VDCI to be proactive. They will respond by increasing truck spraying and larviciding.
VDCI sets gravid traps, which are good for collecting virus-positive mosquitoes, all throughout the city on a weekly basis and then test those trap’s collections for the presence of the West Nile Virus.
As a precautionary measure, VDCI recommends that city residents use insect repellents that contain deet, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. In addition, they suggest wearing loose fitting, light-colored clothing while outdoors, especially long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks.
Also, minimizing outdoor activities between dusk and dawn would also be of help since mosquitoes are known to be most active during that time. Property owners can be instrumental in the fight to control mosquito growth and are encouraged to keep grass and weeds cut, eliminate standing water and repair or tighten any loose or torn screens on doors and windows.
Birdbaths, clogged gutters, children’s toys and pools as well as any objects that hold water are potential sites for mosquitoes to lay eggs. VDCI cautions that any water left standing for five or more days could potentially produce mosquitoes.
The positive indicator for the West Nile Virus indicates that virus activity is increasing in the environment and people should be more careful and take precautions to protect themselves from the virus.
In addition to the West Nile Virus surveillance and response, VDCI will also spray for nuisance mosquitoes.
Currently the city is broken down into five treatment zones and those zones are sprayed weekly along with larviciding and any service requests from the residents. The spraying schedule is determined by the trap counts, larval surveillance and complaints from the citizens.
Any residents who notice a potential problem area or would like VDCI to conduct a mosquito inspection are encouraged to call Vector Disease Control at 662-332-7557.
The printed notice further states that West Nile Virus is epidemic in this area and the fact that it is showing up now in the traps is not surprising considering the time of the year.