The recent rains are sparking concerns with Boone County health officials about mosquitoes and West Nile Virus. Starting at midnight, a crew will be spraying for mosquitoes. Health officials say they want to be proactive before the problem gets worse.
One crew will be out overnight in places like trails, parks, or sports fields. What they’re really targeting are things like standing pools standing water and anywhere where a lot of people would be spending a lot of time. They say it’s critical to do this because of all of the rain we’ve had this year.
Health officials tell ABC 17 News people running on the trail, hanging out in the park or even at a ball field is who they want to protect the most. That’s because they’re in an area they believe would have the highest concentration of mosquitoes. With all the rain Mid-Missouri has had this year, officials believe there is potential to have a bad year.
“As long as we have a constant rain it’s a lot more beneficial, however when that rain stops and we get into the drier part of the summer that’s when we really start to worry about West Nile showing up in our community,” says Kala Wekenborg of the Boone County Health Department.
Wekenborg tells us there hasn’t been a confirmed case of West Nile Virus since 2007. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to let up on the fight against mosquitoes.
Crews are planning on spraying each week at the same time throughout the summer. During each spray, they expect to hit more than 900 sites across Columbia. Wekenborg says they’re also looking to take care of pools of standing water with mosquito larva. She says crews know what to look for and can hopefully hit most areas before something like West Nile pops up.
“He does kind of know what the problem areas are and the target areas so we just keep it on a schedule as complaints come in we follow up with those also,” Wekenborg says.
Health officials say if you think officials should come out and spray all you need to do is call the health department. They’ll send an inspector out and tell you what needs to be done.