Officials combat mosquito populations with technology

Jul 21, 2022, 6:35 PM | Updated: Jul 26, 2022, 2:43 pm

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — While we are in the middle of a drought, there is still a lot of water in the wetlands, and the sustained heat appears to be bringing out the mosquitoes in large numbers.

“Our mosquito numbers are pretty high with this temperature. We’re reaching our peak of the season,” said Gary Hatch, director of the Davis Mosquito Abatement District.

Abatement crews are taking a number of approaches to try and get those populations down, like turning to technology.

A drone is used to spray the marshy area where mosquitos like to repopulate in.

“It heightens our control levels; how we do extra spraying in those areas, trying to knock the adult population down,” Hatch explains.

This control effort comes after a mosquito pool in the area was found with the West Nile virus at the beginning of the week.

West Nile virus detected in Davis County

Meanwhile, back at the office, crews prepare traps in the marsh to kill and trap possible infected mosquitos.

“Having a positive test this early typically means that it’s going to be really busy, especially with the heat we’re experiencing,” Hatch said.

But the constaint heat might lead to more spread of the virus.

“The heat makes the virus replicate in the mosquitoes quicker, and so, therefore, when it takes a blood meal from a bird, that virus starts to grow and multiply in the mosquito,” he explains.

And as workers continue to control the spread and test for the disease, Hatch tells locals to protect themselves.

“Put some repellant on, wear a long sleeve shirt, long pants if you can. Remove the standing water from around your house.”

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Officials combat mosquito populations with technology