The Norman Transcript

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July 18, 2013

City vector control officer experienced in trapping mosquitoes

(Continued)

NORMAN —

The hardest time to avoid mosquitoes is obviously in the summer when it’s warm, but especially at the beginning and end of the season when it’s a little cooler and there’s more rainfall. They like it hot but not too hot.

“April through September, you can see a rise in those general time frames, and then when it hits July, you know it just dips down because, like last year, we got about a month of just over 100-degree weather,” Warren said.

When Warren’s not out collecting dead mosquitoes, he’s trying to prevent younger mosquitoes from developing by larviciding areas with standing water.

Larviciding keeps mosquito population low by killing the larvae before the mosquitoes become adults, he said. It’s also safer than spraying because the larvicide uses a bacteria specific to mosquitoes that won’t harm their environment.

But this summer has been remarkably tame for Norman, as far as mosquitoes go. Apparently they didn’t enjoy the tornadoes anymore than the rest of us.

“Since the tornado, we’ve had these tipsy-topsy levels to where when it does rain and you get a lot of wind and a lot of weather, the mosquitoes naturally don’t like that,” Warren said.

Oklahoma has not yet had any reported cases of West Nile Virus, but last year, the state didn’t get the worst from its mosquitoes until August. From August through October, 176 cases of West Nile Virus were confirmed and 12 people died from the virus.

West Nile Virus is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are no medications or vaccines to treat or prevent infections, but it can be prevented by using insect repellent to avoid bites. About 1 in 5 people infected will develop symptoms, and less than 1 percent develop a serious, sometimes fatal illness.

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