Helping to Prevent West Nile Virus in Wildlife and Humans
When summer arrives, there are picnics, parades, sunshine and mosquitoes! It's important to remember that our elderly or immune-compromised family members and friends have to think about mosquitoes and West Nile Virus whenever they go outside.
Despite its ability to “cross-over” to make some humans and other animals* sick, West Nile Virus is primarily a wild bird disease and the birds at greatest risk are crows, jays, hawks and owls. The disease proves to be invariably fatal for infected crows, but some of the jays and birds of prey can be saved with proper veterinary care.
You can have a real impact on saving wild birds and protecting human health! It is important to prevent standing water in your yard as it is the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Mosquitoes can hatch in only four days, so change the water in birdbaths at least twice a week.
- Clean out your home’s gutters to keep them from holding water in which mosquitoes breed.
- Eliminate water in flowerpot bases, old tires, buckets, watering cans, wheelbarrows and swimming pool covers.
- Eliminate standing water in your yard by correcting landscaping problems.
- Aerate ornamental ponds or pools.
- Take a walking tour of your yard on a daily basis to look for additional places that might contain standing water.
To learn more about West Nile Virus, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm.
*Horses are susceptible to West Nile Virus. Horse owners: Talk to your veterinarian about having your horse vaccinated against WNV. Click here to learn more about West Nile Virus and horses.