VIRGINIA BEACH -- Those pesky mosquitoes are causing a high number of West Nile Virus and EEE cases in Virginia Beach.
The Public Works Mosquito Control Biology Lab says 22 mosquito samples have tested positive for WNV and there are 12 positive mosquito and sentinel chicken samples for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
Normal numbers for one mosquito season are 7 for WNV and 5 for EEE.
Why the increase?
“We’ve had a fairly mild summer in terms of temperature, so I think the recent spike in temperatures has caused a lot of this increase,” says Dreda Symonds with the Mosquito Control Biology lab
To help combat the program, the city has increased night time spraying by 20%, concentrating in the areas of increased positives, and increased daytime spraying of breeding sites.
Symonds says she expects increased mosquito activity for another 6-8 weeks.
MOSQUITO PROTECTION TIPS:
--Avoid being outdoors during the evening, when WNV mosquitos are most active after dark.
--Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing.
--Use insect repellent products with no more than 50% DEET for adults and less than 30% for children.
--Follow label instructions when using insect repellents.
HELP ELIMINATE MOSQUITOES:
--Turn over or remove containers in your yard where rainwater collects, such as potted plant trays, buckets, or toys.
--Empty bird baths once a week.
--Remove old tires from your yard.
--Clean roof gutters and downspout screens.
--Eliminate standing water on flat roofs, boats, and tarps.
--Clear obstructions in ditches so they flow and drain. Fill in puddles with soil, or a mixture of sand and gravel, or dig drainage ditches to drain puddles.
--If puddles or ditches cannot be drained or filled in, treat standing water with mosquito larvicides (dunks or granules) that can be purchased at any hardware store.
Health officials say West Nile Virus can lead to severe illness in humans, but less than 1% of those infected develop serious neurological problems.