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Mother Nature, abatement efforts keep skeeter populations low

July 22, 2013

Owens Valley Mosquito Abatement Program Manager Chris Wickham and his crew are testing a 1,200-square-mile area for Culex tarsalis (above), the most competent carrier of WNV. Photo courtesy Owens Valley Mosquito Abatement Program

While the mosquito population is currently low during this low-water year, the Owens Valley Mosquito Abatement Program crew is daily treating pastures and lake areas in preparation for the peak August/September mosquito season.
OVMAP Manager Chris Wickham said the crew has been applying larvicides to pasture areas adjacent to Bishop, Big Pine, Lone Pine and Independence as well as in the Owens Lake area near Keeler since March.
“Anywhere we find mosquitoes breeding near human populations is our highest priority,” he said.
Wickham said his crew hasn’t started using adulticide yet. “That is typically done when larva cannot be controlled and there is a threat of disease.” That threat is determined by the number and species of mosquitoes present – in excess of 25 Culex tarsalis mosquitoes, the “most competent vector of West Nile Virus,” per trap.

(For more, see the Tuesday, July 23, 2013 edition of The Inyo Register.)

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