Mosquitos found in traps west of Parma have tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to the Canyon County Mosquito Abatement District.
Director Ed Burnett says his technicians found early signs of the virus on Friday morning. They decided to conduct more tests before announcing the finding on Tuesday.
“We’re just a little surprised that it’s this early in the season,” he says.
West Nile is endemic to Idaho, but usually, Burnett says, his team doesn’t find the virus until late June. He cites heavy rainfall and light flooding as two main reasons for the early appearance, since mosquitoes need standing water to breed.
“Couple those standing water conditions—and there’s many in any particular yard—with hot temperatures, and those mosquitos can lead to a definite problem,” Burnett says.
To prevent the mosquitoes from breeding—and the virus from spreading—Burnett recommends making sure not to let water stand stagnant.
“Bird baths—dump them out every few days. Pet dishes—do the same thing,” he says. “Don’t let that water stay in there.”
In all of 2017, Idaho saw 25 cases of West Nile Virus, according to the Department of Health and Welfare.
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