Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile in WBR parish

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Like many kids, Brianna Edwards loves being out and about but as the sun begins to set over West Baton Rouge Parish, your chances of mosquitoes biting are even higher.

"They're pretty bad and pretty large but we welcome trying to control them," said Brianna's dad Zachary Edwards.

George Bragg, Director of West Baton Rouge Mosquito Control, said they have 20 traps set all over the parish and all the mosquitoes caught in them are sent for testing.

"They test for West Nile, St. Louis Encephalitis and Eastern Equine Encephalitis and last week the batch we sent it, we got eight of them came back positive for West Nile," said Bragg.

It's why mosquito control has been out spraying this week between dusk and dawn when adult mosquitoes really come out & they're concentrating on the areas where traps tested positive for West Nile just last week.

In the mornings, they switch gears and go dipping for larva.

"That's what they look like after the mosquito lays the egg," said Bragg.

Just one small container has hundreds of potential mosquitoes in it right now and Louisiana's heat, humidity and rain only add fuel to the fire to increase the mosquito population. It takes three to five days for mosquitoes to go from eggs to adults.

"Despite all the dangerous animals in the world, mosquitoes still do kill more people in the world every year than any other animal in the planet through mosquito borne diseases," said Bragg.

When mosquitoes test positive for West Nile, Bragg said the chance of people contracting the virus goes up, but there are things people can do.

"Wear long clothes if you have to, use mosquito repellent, avoid activity between dusk and dawn because that's when mosquitoes are most active," said Bragg.

Make sure you dump any standing water around the house.

"It has the potential to bring mosquitoes and very often does," said Bragg.

The traps are actually checked twice a week and the samples are then sent off to the LSU Vet lab. They check for any mosquito borne diseases. That information is then used by the mosquito control to figure out exactly where to target their spraying.

Copyright 2017 WAFB. All rights reserved.