BOLIVIA, N.C. (WECT) - The State Laboratory of Public Health identified the West Nile virus in a pool of mosquitoes collected in the central part of the county on Aug. 13.
County officials said the type of mosquito collected that tested positive for West Nile Virus was the species Culiseta melanura. This mosquito only bites birds in the wild bird population and are not known to bite humans. County mosquito control officials regularly monitor the mosquito species to identify West Nile activity and direct mosquito spraying operations to reduce the risk to the human and horse populations.
The Culiseta melanura species is occasionally collected in light traps in Brunswick County. This mosquito is considered a tree canopy mosquito and rarely leaves the deep woodland habitats.
Individuals should minimize their exposure to mosquitoes during outside activities especially during dusk and dawn. Mosquito populations tend to be more active in wooded areas this time of year limiting adult control options.
“We can address areas that we can access with the mosquito truck, but we cannot effectively address mosquito populations deep in the woods. This is why personal protection measures are so important to hunters and outdoorsmen,” said Jeff Brown, the Mosquito Control Supervisor for Brunswick County.
David Stanley, the county’s Health and Human Services executive director, urged residents to wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, avoid being outside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, and apply mosquito repellent.
If using repellent with DEET, make sure to follow label instructions, and keep DEET out of the eyes, mouth and nose.
If you are a horse owner, consult your veterinarian regarding proper protective vaccines for your horses and change the water in water troughs at least twice a week to discourage mosquito breeding.
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