As temperatures across the state continue to climb, so does Utah’s mosquito population. Last year Utah saw five cases of West Nile Virus. Though officials have yet to see any cases this year, counties across the state are not taking any risks.
Officials for Washington County say that the virus has been detected in trapped mosquitoes in the area. They hope to keep West Nile out of the human population through the mosquito abatement program.
The program traps and tests mosquitoes for the virus as well as conducts local spraying and larvicide as needed. Mario Boisvert, head of the program for Washington County, said that the chemicals used in the spray do not pose a risk to the public.
"According to the EPA, when those products are used according to the label, those products do not pose an unreasonable risk for wildlife, the environment or human health," Boisvert said.
Logan City started its abatement program in May and has yet to see any cases of the virus this year, according to Joe Archer, head of the city’s program. The city sprays based off of number of mosquitoes trapped at sites around the city. Archer said most of the blood sucking insects come from standing water at people’s homes. "Anything that will hold water, they can have larvae in," Archer said. " The mosquitoes we're getting in town are coming from bird baths, water bowls and any place where there's stagnant water."
Both men suggest wearing bug spray and protective clothing as well as avoiding areas with mosquitoes during dusk and dawn. Last year, the state saw one death from West Nile Virus.