As the weather warms up, mosquitoes will become active and that can mean West Nile virus and other vector borne diseases are possible. Egyptian Health Department monitors West Nile virus by accepting dead birds for testing through the Illinois Department of Public Health laboratories. Dead birds have proven to be important sentinels for early WNV activity. EHD also collects and tests mosquito samples throughout the summer in Saline, Gallatin, and White counties. In addition EHD purchases mosquito larvacide each year to treat areas of stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.
Warm temperatures and rainfall are signs that it’s time to take action to prevent backyards from becoming mosquito breeding grounds. Eliminate potential mosquito breeding areas from your backyard by following the checklist below.
* Properly cover or dispose of old tires. Old, rimless tires are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
* Get rid of artificial containers on your property such as cans, buckets, bottles or any other container that holds water.
* Keep drains, ditches and culverts free of weeds and trash.
* Keep trash containers covered to keep out rain.
* Empty or change the water in wading pools and birdbaths at least weekly.
* Keep the grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around the house.
Remember, mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, and it takes about a week for their larvae to mature into adults. Although many cities and villages have mosquito control programs, their effectiveness is greatly increased with help from property owners.
Beginning May 1 if you find a dead bird please contact your local Egyptian Health Department office. Also, take precautions such as using mosquito repellent, wearing protective clothing, or staying indoors during times when mosquitoes are actively biting.