Local News

West Nile activity starts early this year

By From page A5 | June 05, 2012

Two mosquito samples and two dead birds have tested positive for West Nile virus in Davis so far this year — earlier than normal, officials say.

The mosquito samples were collected in West Davis, on May 22 between Eisenhower and Fillmore streets and on May 23 near Wake Forest Drive, between Sycamore Lane and Oxford Circle Park, according to a map on the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District’s website.

A dead American crow was found May 25 between Villanova and Colby drives, north of Redwood Park and César Chávez Elementary School. A dead Western scrub jay was discovered May 29 in El Macero near South El Macero Drive, east of Clubhouse Drive, according to the map.

“We’re very concerned about the level of intense activity we’re seeing this season,” District Manager David Brown said in a news release. “While it’s not uncommon to find widespread areas with dead birds and mosquito samples in August, finding virus activity in June is certainly earlier than anything we’ve seen in recent years and we urge residents to take these early indications seriously.”

The district on Monday announced further evidence of West Nile virus activity has been detected throughout Sacramento County as well, with 32 new mosquito samples and four birds testing positive for the disease. The latest birds and mosquito samples have been collected from different areas in Sacramento County, but especially focused in communities near Gerber and Calvine roads.

That brings West Nile totals up to 23 dead birds and 42 mosquito samples in Sacramento County and two dead birds and two mosquito samples in Yolo County.

District officials worried that Monday’s late rain storm could contribute to the problem by creating more water puddles where mosquitoes might lay their eggs. As a preventive measure, area residents are encouraged to empty out buckets, flower pots or anything else that may have collected rainwater around their property.

“The excess water will increase mosquito habitats,” Brown said in the release. “Now more than ever, we need everyone to do their part and drain mosquito breeding sources in their back yard. As the warming trend continues for the remainder of the week, the virus will likely amplify and the risk of human transmission will increase.”

In response to the recent findings, the district has started ground fogging around areas where positive mosquitoes and birds have been found. District spokeswoman Luz Rodriguez said the district last week completed “barrier treatments” in Davis, spraying around bushes and vine-covered walls in the areas where West Nile-positive mosquito samples and dead birds were found. No further spraying is planned in Davis at this time, she said.

For more information about any treatments planned or to report a dead bird, visit www.FIGHTtheBITE.net. Residents also may subscribe to receive email notifications for mosquito treatments by ZIP code. To sign up, go to “Spray Notifications” on the website.

Enterprise staff

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