Union County mosquitoes test positive for West Nile

By Kelly Ducote August 27, 2013 02:04 pm

Mosquitoes in Union County have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

A mosquito pool from North Powder tested positive for the virus just days after Union County Vector Control announced that a horse outside La Grande had the virus.

"The big thing right now is we found it in late August," said Kelly Beehler, the county's vector control director.

Beehler said it's better to find West Nile later in the summer. In 2007, the worst year Union County had with West Nile Virus, the virus was found in early July. Seven people contracted the virus that year.

"You should definitely try to protect yourself form mosquito bites. This is the time of year that the potential is so much higher for mosquitoes to be infected," Beehler said.

Some steps to reduce mosquitoes include:

• Eliminate sources of standing water that are a breeding ground for mosquitoes. This includes watering troughs, bird baths, clogged gutters and old tires.

• Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. When engaged in outdoor activities, protect yourself by using mosquito repellants containing DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus or Picardin, and follow the directions on the container.

• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants in mosquito-infested areas.

• Make sure screen doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly.

Residents are also encouraged to report high numbers of mosquitoes to Union County Vector control. Mosquito control is paid for through property taxes and there is no additional charge for any of the services they provide.

Contact Vector Control by calling 541-963-2974.