West Nile-carrying mosquitoes found in Oakbank, Man.
WINNIPEG – Manitoba Health has collected its first samples of West Nile-infected mosquitoes this summer.
The infected mosquitoes were collected during the week of July 20 in a trap in Oakbank, a news release from the provincial government says.
The province believes the number of infected mosquitoes in the area is low and doesn’t warrant an order to spray pesticides, the release said.
Not all mosquitoes transmit West Nile virus and the majority found in Manitoba traps are nuisance bugs, the province said.
Culex tarsalis mosquitoes, which do carry West Nile, showed increased numbers during the week of July 20 increased in several communities in southern Manitoba. However, preliminary numbers for the week of July 27 appear to show dropping numbers of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes, health officials said.
Manitoba Health officials say residents can reduce the risk of West Nile virus by:
- Reducing the amount of time spend outdoors during peak mosquito hours;
- using mosquito repellent;
- wearing light-coloured, loose clothing; and
- maintaining screens so doors can’t enter homes.
Mosquito numbers can also be reduced by eliminating standing water near homes. Manitoba Health suggests:
- cleaning eavestroughs and regularly emptying bird baths, old tires and other items that collect water;
- ensuring rain barrels are covered with mosquito screens or are tightly sealed around the downspout; and
- improving landscaping to prevent standing water.
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