The Benton County Mosquito Control District is asking for public help in their battle vs. mosquitos and West Nile virus.

After mosquitos samples tested positive for West Nile virus last week,  the Control District did do some spraying of  areas where insect counts were the highest, but some simple steps that we can take will also help.  The Benton County district covers an area from Finley up the valley to Mabton.

The EPA (enviornmental protection agency) has recently banned certain pesticides, or modified regulations greatly limiting what local and regional control boards can do to control the spread of mosquitoes and West Nile virus.  The Benton County Mosquito Control Board issued a recent press release in which the following statement was made:

"increased federal and state regulatory requirements are making it more difficult for us to use the tools necessary to protect our citizens."

While good stewardship and rules are needed to control the amounts of pesticides that end up in water, and making sure chemicals used to control insects and mosquitoes are not harmful to humans, many critics are accusing the EPA of overreaching,  some calling it a 'government unto itself.'

In the meantime,  the District is asking citizens to take the following easy steps to help control the pests in their own yards and neighborhoods:

  • getting rid of discarded tires-these catch water and provide breeding grounds
  • keeping bird baths clean and washed
  • make sure rain gutters are not clogged, and water flows freely.
  • discarding unused wading pools or any other items that can catch and store stagnant water.

Removing any and all sources of dirty standing water around your home will greatly decrease mosquito activity, as well as using repellent when outside for long periods of time.    West Nile virus is a potentially serious illness that can have long-term negative (even fatal in some cases) effects on humans.

For more information on how to prevent mosquitoes around your home,  click here.