What is in this article?:
- West Nile virus ramps up in Southwest.
- Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico have more than half of the 2,192 cases of West Nile virus reported this year.
- SW region has suffered 49 deaths from WNV.
Prevention is key
In rural Texas, the greatest concern is for farm and ranch workers. Controlling WMV on the farm and ranch involves eliminating mosquito breeding grounds. In addition to stock ponds and water troughs, old tires, feed buckets and any other container that holds water is a potential breeding ground.
“Most people don’t realize that any container—from a pet dish to a potted plant, a coke can to a trash receptacle—can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Eliminating the breeding grounds is the best defense against spreading the disease,” reports Texas AgriLife Extension Specialist Janet Hurley.
In addition, farm and ranch workers are encouraged to wear long sleeves and pants during dusk and dawn, a prime time for mosquito feeding. In addition, wear insect repellent when heading outdoors; repair or replace screens on doors and windows, use air conditioning if possible and empty standing water from all containers on the property.