Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

West Nile Virus Prevention Requires More Than Spraying For Adult Mosquitoes

 Close-up of a moquito on a leaf

In the next week or so, Logan city will start spraying for adult mosquitos. Residents who don’t want their property treated can contact the city to opt out.

“People are concerned any time you have any kind of chemical, regardless of how safe it may be considered. For example, we’re spraying Zenivex, which is deemed low risk by the EPA,” said Rex Davis, the forestry foreman in the Logan City Environmental Division.

Last year in Cache County, there were 14 confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in humans, animals and mosquitoes. Davis says he is more concerned about the virus than possible side effects of the spray.

“I’ve seen countless studies on this product. It’s a synthetic parathyroid that’s made from chrysanthemum flowers, and there’s no side effects noted yet with Zenivex,” Davis said. “But I would take those over what I guarantee and have proof of that can hurt humans, which is West Nile Virus.”

Spraying for adult mosquitos is a very noticeable mosquito abatement effort, but not the most effective one, Davis said. One of the best ways people can help reduce the mosquito population is eliminate standing water from around their home.

“This can be found in so many places,” Davis said, “but just, for example, clogged rain gutters, overwatering with people’s sprinkler systems, dog dishes, tarps, buckets, wheelbarrows. Anything that can hold water. It only takes a cup of water for hundreds of mosquito larva to be bread in there.”

Davis said discarded tires left outside are one of the worst places for mosquitoes to lay their larva.

“Tires basically catch rainfall and serve as an incubator for mosquito larva. They speed the process up just pump out mosquitoes even faster.”

Beyond this, Davis also said it is important for people to use bug repellent with Deet in it and to minimize their exposed skin.