Mosquito Abatement file

Mosquitoes are seen emptied from a Cache Mosquito Abatement collection bag in 2017 while collecting samples to send to a state lab for testing.

Recent mosquito samples from Cache County have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the Cache Mosquito Abatement District.

The WNV-positive mosquito trap was found in Petersboro and tested by the Utah State Public Health Laboratory.

CMAD states it will continue abatement and surveillance. The abatement district may have an update for the public this weekend — Field Operations Manager Richard Rigby said they set the traps Monday night, count the mosquitoes Tuesday, send the samples to the state lab on Wednesday and then typically get results back Friday.

Rigby said he can’t predict whether more samples will turn up positive — some years there’s only one positive result, and some years once WNV is found, samples keep coming back positive until the end of the season toward the middle of September.

The abatement district has been counting about 20-25% more mosquitoes in its traps this year than normal.

A wet spring, a late start to summer and sporadic cooling rains may contribute to higher bug populations this year, and people have reported spotting swarms of stink bugs and Mormon crickets in Cache Valley this year.

West Nile virus has also been found in Davis, Salt Lake, Sevier, Uintah and Weber counties recently.

CMAD abatement mostly consists of larvacide but also includes fogging adults with insecticide trucks at night when the species that carry WNV are active.

To avoid exposure, the Bear River Health Department recommends using a mosquito repellent with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Wearing long sleeves and pants between dusk and dawn can also help.

To help keep the mosquito population down, residents should drain standing water on their property, checking spots such as kiddie pools, old tires, pet dishes, toys and buckets. Keeping weeds and tall grass cut short can help, as well, because adult mosquitoes shelter there during hot daylight hours.

staff writer

Steve Kent is city editor for The Herald Journal.