Early West Nile Virus Cases Prompt Mosquito Warnings
Baltimore, MD– If cases of West Nile virus herald the arrival of the summer season, then summer has arrived with a vengeance in the USA. New cases of West Nile virus have been confirmed in Richardson, Texas; Walnut Creek, California; New Orleans; Stephenson County, Colorado; Denton County, Texas; Sacramento County, California; Parker County, Texas; Northampton County, Penn- sylvania; Burlington County, New Jersey; and many other locations throughout the United States.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the first positive bird case, a crow infected with West Nile virus, was found in Chicago on May 16—well ahead of last year’s schedule. Mosquito
West Nile virus, which is transmitted by the bites from infected mosquitoes, is making its appearance earlier than ever this year.
The active ingredient in Mosquito Dunks® is a bacterium that’s deadly to mosquito larvae but harmless to other living things.
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pools also have tested positive from samples collected May 17 in Cook and DuPage coun- ties. Last year, the first positive mosquito samples did not show up until June 8.
Health officials in Seminole County, Florida, issued a mosquito-borne illness advisory after a positive test for West Nile Virus in several chickens. Recent rains and summer heat have made Florida and other parts of the country prime breeding grounds for mos- quitoes, which can spread West Nile virus, dengue fever, encephalitis, canine heartworm and other diseases. Since 1999, West Nile virus has killed 1,263 people in the U.S.
“Very mild winter and spring temperatures and the early arrival of hot summer weather means that mosquito breeding season has already begun,” said Jonathan Cohen, mosquito control expert and president of Summit Responsible Solutions (www.summitresponsiblesolutions.com), which makes Mosquito Dunks®, the number-one selling biological mosquito control product. “Because of this year’s warmer temperatures, mosquito populations will be increasing sooner and faster. This summer could become the worst mosquito summer ever in the U.S. and Canada.”
Because mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, Health Department officials are asking everyone to take steps to reduce standing water to stop mosquitoes from multi- plying. To reduce mosquito populations:
- Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
- Remove and discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items left outdoors that can collect water.
- Empty and clean birdbaths and pet water bowls at least once or twice a week.
- Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
- Maintain swimming pools in good condition with appropriatechlorination. Empty kids’swimming pools when not in use.
Where standing water collects, use a product with all-natural B.t.i. to disrupt mosqui- toes’ breeding cycle. The B.t.i. in a Mosquito Dunk® will kill mosquito larvae in birdbaths, ponds, animal watering troughs and other standing water before they become biting, disease-carrying adults. Mosquito Dunks® are safe for pets, wildlife and fish, and they are approved for organic use.
A six-pack of Mosquito Dunks® sells for about $12 at home centers, hardware stores, garden centers and online at www.summitresponsiblesolutions.com.
Mosquito Dunks and “Kills Mosquitoes Before They’re Old Enough to Bite” are registered trademarks of Summit Chemical Company.