West Nile mosquitoes see decline
Portage la Prairie Parks Manager Dave Green is seen surveying the water for mosquito larvae at the duck pond at Island Park in Portage on Friday. After two recent foggings, the mosquito count has seen a noticeable decline in the area. (Angela Brown, Portage Daily Graphic, QMI Agency.)
The past two foggings in Portage la Prairie have made a significant difference in bringing down the numbers of West Nile infected skeeters.
Shelley Buchan, medical officer of health with Southern Regional Health Authority, said while the numbers have declined the risk is still there to contract West Nile, so prevention remains important.
"(From) the two fogging events that occurred in Portage la Prairie, there was a good response as far as cutting down the numbers for the Culex Tarsalis that are in the traps," she said. "There are still positive mosquitoes -- meaning that the risk is still there. So we are still advising people that they need to do all the prevention measures -- reducing standing water around their own homes, make sure their screens are in good working order, (and) wear repellant if they are going out at dusk or dawn."
Portage Parks Manager Dave Green also noted there has been a decrease in the mosquito count in the area.
"We just got the report from the Province and numbers are way down. So there is no need for any additional fogging," said Green.
He added it is close to the end of the Culex Tarsalis mosquito season, which helps to further lessen the risk of becoming infected with West Nile.
"For sure, it's a relief," said Green.
In the weekly average Culex Trap Count for Portage for Aug. 5 to 11, there were 745 Culex mosquitoes per trap found. That is a notable drop from the prior week (July 29 to Aug. 4) when 2,643 were identified.
"Also the cooler nights are making a difference now too," said Green on Friday. "The mosquitoes are not active when it's cool."
The provincially-funded larvaciding program wrapped up for the local area this week.
"There is no larvae present on the tests they did this week," said Green. "They sampled before they larvacide, and there was no Culex showing up. That means next week the numbers will be even lower. We have been keeping records for quite a few years, and after the third week in August the Culex numbers drop."