Know The Buzz About West Nile Virus

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

The warm weather has finally arrived and it looks like it’s here to stay.   This is the time of year everyone wants to spend more time in the great outdoors but it’s also the time to of year we all need to fight the bite.  The mosquitos bite that is.

There are 57 different species of mosquitoes in the State of Michigan, and each one is as annoying as the next.  However, there is one species of mosquito that is most associated with the spread of the West Nile Virus (WNV) and that mosquito is the Culex pipiens.

mosquito photo 1

So what can you do to protect yourself from mosquito bites and reduce your risk of getting WNV and other diseases that mosquitos carry?  Just follow a few simple steps:

  • Use insect repellent in accordance with manufacturer recommendations.
  • Eliminate standing water that collects in birdbaths, boats, buckets, tires, unused pools, roof gutters and other containers.
  • Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Limit outdoor activity primarily between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Avoid areas where mosquitoes may be present (i.e. shaded and wooded areas).
  • Maintain window and door screening to keep mosquitoes out of buildings.

For more information on West Nile Virus please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/westnile.  Following these steps will lead to more enjoyable and safer outdoor experiences.