Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-373-2391
The Marion County Health Department continues to see increased mosquito activity as the season peaks. Ten sites located throughout Marion County have tested positive for mosquitoes with West Nile virus. While no human cases of the virus have been confirmed in Marion County, the exposure risks to mosquitoes with the virus remains high through mid-October.
Local health officials have found mosquitoes with West Nile virus in Center, Washington, Lawrence and Perry townships. "We feel strongly that mosquitoes carrying the virus are located throughout the county and we want people to be prepared," said Chuck Dulla, administrator of the mosquito control program.
Residents can help in the mosquito control effort by taking a five-minute walk around their home to check for potential breeding sites. Any container capable of holding water can breed mosquitoes. A Styrofoam coffee cup holding two teaspoons of water can breed mosquitoes. Outdoor containers should be regularly cleaned, covered or stored indoors.
Among the unique mosquito control efforts supported by mosquito control involves mosquito fish. These guppy-sized fish love to eat mosquito larvae and provide an outstanding biological control measure. A mosquito fish can eat between 100 and 200 mosquito larvae per day. While used mainly in ponds and ornamental pools, the fish are also used in horse troughs and swampy areas. These fish are available to the general public at no charge. The mosquito fish co-exist with other non-game fish and can survive through the winter. The Marion County Health Department maintains its own mosquito fish pond.
For more information about the mosquito control program, contact the health department at 221-7444.