Despite the wet weather this summer and an increase in breeding sites for mosquitoes, there has not been a human case of West Nile virus in Ohio this year. There are still a lot of mosquitoes, just very few that are infected with West Nile virus and those that are infected have not bitten any humans. At least, not yet.
Mosquito prevention has changed in recent years with a concentration on killing infected mosquitoes, instead of attempting to kill all mosquitoes. That approach has affected the pesticide spraying schedule for the Knox County Health Department.
“We are no longer just spraying to spray,” said Environmental Health Director Nate Overholt, RS. “The focus of the spraying is not to keep mosquitoes from biting you. It’s to kill infected mosquitoes before they get a chance to bite you.” The agency is also providing larvacide to treat areas of standing water. Health department staff have been distributing larvacide dunks to township officials for use in public areas like ditches along roads. Local residents can also pick up the dunks at the health department for use on their property. (read more)
Mayre Newcomb, an intern with the Knox County Health Department adds liquid to a Gravid Trap as part of the agency’s mosquito surveillance program.