West Nile preps keep mosquito control experts busy - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

West Nile preps keep mosquito control experts busy

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: wLBT Source: wLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
BRANDON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

In the battle against West Nile, experts say prevention is key, but there's also a lot going on behind the scenes to keep those mosquito populations down.

This sweltering weather, coupled with no rain in recent days, remains a recipe for these mosquito populations to increase significantly.

That's why it's important for them to monitor those numbers as much as possible and get rid of as many as they can.

When it comes to mosquito prevention, foggers may be the first thing that comes to mind.

That spray kills every mosquito it finds, however, it's just one of many techniques mosquito control employees like Brandon Cobb have at their disposal.

"We put ten grab-and-traps out weekly, and 15 CDC light traps around the county every week," said Cobb.

Those traps Cobb's talking about have a two-fold purpose here. Not only do they reduce numbers by trapping females and their eggs, they also provide live samples technicians can test for West Nile.

And the traps work quickly. Within five minutes, Cobb already had one.

"Whenever we get a positive test, we go out with traps in that area looking for the breeding pool to do test samples to look for West Nile so we can catch it before we get a human case," said Cobb.

That being said, mosquito control remains serious business in the metro. Businesses and residents take advantage of the services.

Vector Disease Control International provides mosquito control for several counties in Mississippi, including Rankin and Hinds counties.

And they stay busy.

"Because it's so hot and there's less rain, they don't get washed out of the stagnant water, added Cobb. "It's their breeding time of year, so we're working even harder at this time of year than we do throughout the rest of the season." 

There are also things you can do to cut down on the risk. Experts say to get rid of standing water near your home and beware of swampy areas around your property, too.

Also, use insect repellent containing DEET, or Oil of Lemon eucalyptus.

It also wouldn't hurt to make sure you stay inside during dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most likely to be flying around.

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