Very little rain means fewer mosquitoes and ticks. It also means that the risk for West Nile virus is currently low as the adult mosquito population has declined.
TOLEDO, Ohio – This time of year means annoying mistakes, but a mild start means you shouldn’t be too ticked off just yet.
Very little rain means the mosquito and tick season in Lucas County is calmer than it has been before.
The risk of West Nile virus in our region is currently low as the adult mosquito population has declined. However, the district will shortly be testing local mosquitoes for the virus internally in a laboratory.
The Toledo Area Sanitation District used to dispatch the mosquitoes to be examined at the Ohio Department of Health. Due to budget cuts, staffing problems or COVID-19, the state had to reduce the tests or not carry out any tests at all. With an in-house screening laboratory, the district can achieve same-day results.
You can also test ticks for disease, although the laboratory does not yet have this ability.
“This way we can determine if the virus is present or not, but also target specific areas,” said Paul Bauman, general manager / biologist in the sanitary district of Toledo. “We have surveillance or trapping sites all over the county. If a trap site has a positive pool of virus, we may be treating that area to try to knock it down, and that happens all summer.”
Bauman expects internal disease screening to be completed in a week or two.
To remind you that mosquitoes don’t breed in your home:
- Get rid of stagnant water in containers, bird baths, or flower pots
- Keep child pools empty when you are not using them
- Make sure all gutters are clean and drain properly
There’s no community-wide tick control program so it’s all about education.
Do tick controls when you go back inside, wear repellants and long pants, and keep your grass mowed and weeds down.
In addition to catching, spraying, and monitoring larvae, the district will attempt an abandoned swimming pool program this season. If someone has a neglected above-ground pool that can become a mosquito breeding site with the homeowner’s permission, the district can remove the pools and recycle them.
The program is free and is expected to be up and running in a week or two.