This year’s first indication of West Nile virus (WNV) in Midland County has been observed. A crow collected August 29 in Lincoln Township tested positive for the virus. Seven additional birds have been tested this season and were negative for WNV. There have been no human WNV cases reported from Michigan this year but activity in Michigan often peaks in August or September so residents need to maintain awareness.
Inspection for mosquito larvae and Ultra Low Volume fogging to control adult mosquitoes will be conducted around the area of this crow’s death and will continue throughout the County as necessary. Midland County Mosquito Control will continue testing dead birds and adult mosquitoes from throughout the County. Surveillance results can be viewed at the Midland County Mosquito Control website. Crows and blue jays are most susceptible to West Nile virus so they are the most useful indicator of possible virus activity in an area. Residents are asked to call Mosquito Control at 989-832-8677 to report any dead birds observed.
The Culex mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus often develop in container habitats around the home. Where possible, discard or empty water from flower pots, clogged rain gutters, swimming pool covers, scrap tires and similar sites where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
To further help reduce your own risk of acquiring West Nile Virus:
*Consider the use of an insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin, according to the manufacturer’s directions when adult mosquitoes are present. Even a short time outside can be long enough to get a mosquito bite!
*Be aware of peak mosquito hours. The hours of dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many species of mosquitoes. Take extra precaution by using protective clothing and insect repellent during evening and early morning hours…or consider avoiding outdoor activities at these times.
*When possible, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors.
* Keep vegetation trimmed down as much as possible around the home and make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
For more information about Midland County’s Mosquito Control Program:
http://co.midland.mi.us/MosquitoControl.aspx or call the office at 989-832-8677