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Increased positive West Nile Virus and EEE samples found in Virginia Beach mosquitoes

Posted at 12:51 PM, Sep 04, 2014

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - 22 mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) in Virginia Beach and 12 mosquito and chicken samples have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), the Department of Public Works announced Thursday.

They say those numbers are very high for this point in the season. Typically, they see 7 positive samples of WNV and 5 positive samples of EEE in a normal entire mosquito season.

Dreda Symonds with the Mosquito Control Biology lab attributes much of the increase to the recent hotter temperatures.

“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,” she says.

Mosquito Control’s night ULV crews have increased night time spraying by 20%, concentrating in the areas of increased positives.  They have also increased their day time spraying of breeding sites.

While summer may be over in the minds of many people, said Symonds, “we are coming up to the height of mosquito season.  This increased activity will most likely continue for another 6-8 weeks.”

Most WNV mosquitos are most active after dark, so anyone who plans on being out for any length of time in the evening should be sure and use mosquito repellent.

Other tips to follow are: 

  • 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.

Residents can also help by eliminating mosquito breeding areas on their property: 

  • 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.