Mosquito populations increase after recent storms

(Samantha Boatman)
(Samantha Boatman)
Reported by: Samantha Boatman
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Updated: 7/23/2014 6:49 pm
RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- The extra rainfall in the area has led to higher mosquito numbers. Officials are testing the mosquitoes for any virus they might be carrying.

Jim Shaffer is the Program Coordinator for the Washoe County Vector Borne Diseases Program. He said mosquitoes are collected weekly, and the several days of rainfall did lead to higher mosquito populations, especially in the Donner Springs area. The area was fogged early Wednesday morning.

Shaffer said they are also collecting mosquitoes from areas that did not have standing water before the storm.

Right now, officials are keeping a close eye on the Chikungunya virus. A certain type of mosquito carries this virus, and that exact type of mosquito has not yet been found in Nevada, but has been found in Northern and Southern California.

Shaffer said there is concern those mosquitoes will eventually be found here. "There's a good possibility that those species or those type of mosquitoes can be moving into Northern Nevada. We do have our weekly disease surveillance trapping so if they do come into this region, we will be aware."

All of the most recent mosquitoes that have been tested have been negative for mosquito-borne viruses.

There are ways you can prevent mosquitoes from breeding near your home. Make sure you remove all standing water. Shaffer recommends looking in places like outdoor children's toys, or anywhere that could collect water. He says it only takes 1/2 an inch of water for mosquitoes to breed.

He also said to keep an eye on your pet. Mosquitoes do not just attack humans, they can attack your pet as well.
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