Is this the year West Nile comes home to roost?

In the western US where we do most of our work, this issue has been on the back burner.  In the Boise, Idaho area last summer, West Nile showed up while we were attacking the milfoil problem in some area lakes.  Only one state in the Union had more fatalities from this disease by the end of the year.  In the Seattle area, WN has started to show up in dead birds.

While we are heavily involved in the management of aquatic weed growth for a number of reasons, lets not forget that dense weed growth in a pond or lake is ideal habitat for mosquito larva.  Over the history of this disease, the first year or so are the most critical as much of the population gets exposed and does not develop symptoms.  After that they are immune.  The first years this pest is present is when you need to be the most vigilant. 

When you are thinking about your pond or lake, think about habitat for mosquito larva.  This pest spends most of its life underwater and needs stagnent conditions to thrive.  Controlling aquatic plants opens up the water and exposes the larva to predation.  There are also a number of biological larvacides that are very effective.  If you have questions, give us a ring.  For more information on West Nile go to:

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/surv%26control.htm

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