Typically West Nile Virus shows up in South Carolina somewhere between the middle to the end of summer. In 2019 the Greenville News reported West Nile cases in mid-July. In 2018 the first WNV death was reported by DHEC in September. So why start to talk about it now?
Because mosquitoes love standing water and as much as it’s rained, we have more than our share of it around here. A female mosquito can lay up to 300 eggs in an area of standing water the size of a bottle cap, so it truly doesn’t take a ton of rain to create breeding grounds all over the place. And with the rain we’ve had this spring… can you say multiply times multiply times multiply?! It just makes sense that if more mosquitoes possibly exist and sooner, the havoc they wreak is to follow. We’ve got to get ahead of their game.
Reporting and Testing Dead Birds
Mosquitoes become infected with WNV by feeding on infected birds: Crows, Blue Jays, House Finches, and House Sparrows, to be specific. Once the mosquitoes contract the virus, they can then pass it on to humans within a week or two. By keeping up with the number and location of infected birds, control measures can be taken to treat for the mosquitoes that could carry disease.
DHEC looks to the community for help in this.
When you find single, freshly dead birds of these kinds (no roadkill or decayed birds), you can bag them and deliver them straight to your local agency for testing. DHEC gives you specific instructions for submission as well as detailed descriptions of the types of birds they are looking for, all you have to do is follow this link. It is important to follow the safety precautions given for the collecting of dead, possibly sick birds, but the information you are helping to provide can be invaluable in the treatment for mosquitoes that could be carrying WNV.
Eliminating the Mosquitoes
Of course, we want to be aware of virus activity in the birds in our community, but there is a better approach in avoiding the diseases that mosquitoes carry. Eliminate the source. In our part of the world, mosquito season starts in March and can go on through November, and our winters are getting shorter and warmer. Taking precautions around your home to remove the threat of mosquitoes is becoming a year-long task. Continuously removing any standing water in and around your yard is a must-do. Check empty pots and tip when necessary, remove old tires, empty bird baths weekly and refill with fresh water, remove brush and leaf piles. Simple things can make a big difference, and still, you aren’t going to keep all the mosquitoes away.
That is where professional mosquito treatment comes in. At Mosquito Squad of Greenville, we can do what you can’t do by yourself, by eliminating 90% of your mosquitoes. By starting yard treatment early in the season, you continue to keep the population down, and when WNV really becomes a threat in the later summer months, you’ve done the work to lower the chances, with a little help from us of course. Call today and enjoy your yard while helping to cut down on the entire mosquito population for a community that you love.