May 28, 2018: Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health has begun conducting their annual mosquito larvicide program to reduce mosquito populations known to carry West Nile virus, which runs from May 1 to October 31, 2018. Trained technicians may be seen applying the larvicide by hand, in and around communities in Wellington and Dufferin counties.
In 2017, Public Health confirmed two local human cases of West Nile virus. Three mosquito pools in Guelph also tested positive, and three birds were confirmed to have the virus.
Mosquitos in your backyard are more than a mere nuisance, they may carry the West Nile virus. The West Nile virus may cause flu-like symptoms in some individuals or, in rare cases, may result in permanent disability or even death,” says Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. “Public Health is taking proactive steps to treat municipal catch basins so they don’t become sites for mosquito breeding.
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so the first line of defense is to eliminate mosquito breeding areas. Larvicide will be used in potential larvae breeding sites where standing water cannot be eliminated or is more difficult to control, such as:
- roadside ditches
- temporary pools
- sewage lagoons
- storm-water retention ponds
- areas of standing water
- municipal catch basins
Public Health is also encouraging property owners to remove standing water anywhere it tends to collect. These locations include flower pots, bird baths, wheelbarrows, eaves troughs, rain barrels and tires.
You can reduce the risk of mosquito bites and potential exposure to West Nile virus by:
- wearing light-coloured pants and long-sleeved shirts
- avoid being outside at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes tend to feed
- use a mosquito repellent with DEET or Icaridin for adults and children over 6 months of age (as recommended by Health Canada)
For information about the products used in the larvicide program, or details on treatment locations, please call the Canadian Centre for Mosquito Management at 1-855-220-7022. If you have a catch basin on your property and would like to have it treated at no cost, call Public Health at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4753. Visit wdgpublichealth.ca for more information.
Chuck Ferguson, Communications Manager
1-800-265-7293 ext. 4374