Zika Panic Still Premature in NC

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Bad news travels way faster than the Zika virus. And that is good news. It is true that Zika has now been transmitted within Southern Florida (as of July 27th). BUT, Southern Florida is not North Carolina. In North Carolina, we still have NO known cases of Zika transmitted by mosquitoes. The few cases in North Carolina are travel-related, and were not transmitted by mosquito. In other words… it is still not time to panic! North Carolinians are calling-off outdoor fun, spraying far more pesticide around their homes and families than usual, and are looking suspiciously at, if not shrieking and running from, every mosquito that they see.

Zika is a significant disease and is being monitored closely, as it should be. However, seeing mosquitoes in a North Carolina yard now (like every summer) does NOT indicate a greater risk of getting Zika virus. At this stage, there is not even a need to get the mosquitos you see tested, according to Dr. Michael Waldvogel, Extension Entomologist at NC State University. This is not a North Carolina problem yet, other than experts carefully watching for spread toward our area. In fact, the mosquito famous as a vector of Zika virus, the Asian tiger mosquito, has not even been found in recent years in entomological surveys in North Carolina (monitoring for them continues of course). We, as an Extension of North Carolina State University in Lincoln County, will be getting the word out immediately if the University detects a rising threat that should concern you.

Even if you are not reacting to any immediate threat of Zika virus, the reduction of mosquito populations is still important. Fewer mosquitos mean a reduction in both nuisance biting and the risk of other mosquito-borne diseases which do occur in low numbers in North Carolina.

If you want to get proactive about mosquitos in a practical and sensible way, you have effective options besides spraying. One big one is draining, filling-in, or removing receptacles for standing water around your property. That includes low spots in the yard, old tires, rusty old red wagons, forgotten tea cups, fallen magnolia leaves, outside potted plant saucers, etc.

Click on link for complete article, including information from Dr. Waldvogel and NC State University, to give you further insight into pest management to protect your family from mosquitos. Complete Zika Article