OMAHA, Neb. — Mosquito trapping is a process the Douglas County Health Department experts do throughout the season. The experts start with dry ice that produces CO2, similar to the CO2 that we produce, then they find the best spots to put up mosquito traps to collect, analyze and formulate treatment plans.
Iowa has already had its first report of the West Nile virus. There are about 200 different species of mosquitoes and each has its preferred breeding ground.
"The mosquito we are concerned about is the one that carries the West Nile virus," said John Ruff, Environmental Health Specialist at Douglas County Health Department.
It usually takes an egg 7-10 days to hatch. A female mosquito can produce up to 500 eggs in her first brood. It is the saliva from a mosquito that causes allergic reactions and possible transmission of disease.
"For most people the symptoms are mild but for a small portion of the population, it can cause encephalitis and meningitis. This is one of the areas we treated...as you can see, the water is stagnant," Ruff said while pointing to a small puddle near a park path.
And it does not take a lot of water for them to lay eggs in.
"For some mosquitoes, it takes water as small as a bottle cap to lay its eggs in," said Ruff.
If you are out biking, walking or enjoying the many scenic parks the metro has to offer, it is recommended that you wear pants and long sleeves.
Popular breeding grounds for mosquitoes include:
- Tree holes
- Old tires
- Potted plants
A repellent with DEET is recommended. For a complete list of recommended repellents, visit the EPA's website at https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-repellent-right-you.