Larry Shaffer of the Clark County Combined Health District confirmed that of the 4,838 samples taken from mosquito surveillance traps installed in the State of Ohio, a number of counties have shown the presence of the Aedes Albopictictus otherwise known as the Asian Tiger Mosquito known to carry West Nile Virus.
Shaffer reported that several counties have confirmed cases of the virus and have actively been spraying for mosquito populations to combat the disease.
In Clark County to date, no document cases of the virus have been made, however the county did contract with Able Pest Control to fog neighborhoods around the area to eliminate the populations of the insects which are at a time when they are most active in the growth cycle.
Shaffer explained that the control method being used is safe for humans and pets and is also safe for honey bees.
Due to funding limitations, future fogging will take place only if a confirmed need related to West Nile is present.
A few residents expressed concerns for the fogging application on social media sites, however Shaffer reported that last year his office received only two calls countywide and zero calls this year.
The Health District continues to check monitoring stations around the county including those in our area.
You can help to control the mosquito population in your neighborhood by eliminating standing water. Eggs are laid in standing water in even the smallest container.
Remove old tires, and empty buckets, toyes, containers and clogged rain gutters. Bird baths need to be cleaned often. Rain barrels and swimming pools are also breeding grounds.
Decorative ponds and small water gardens can use either mosquito tablets or fish to control the populations.
Keeping your grass mowed also helps to control those that breed in the grass. Mosquito spray is recommended or wearing long sleeves and long pants while working in the yard to avoid bites. This month the small mosquitoes have been especially bad due to the heat, humidity and heavy rains that leave small unseen areas where breeding takes place in shrubs and grasses.
Especially challenging are the “no-see-ums”. This tiny Black Gnat is emerging in large numbers right now and they need blood and love to live in grassy areas.
They bite and you do not see them as they are smaller than fleas but they prove to leave you with welts and are extremely itchy. The best option is again to wear long sleeves and pants and to use repellant containing DEET.