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Extermination teams struggle as West Nile virus-borne mosquitoes breed in Utah




Some pests have described 2021 as the worst mosquito season in Utah’s history, as it struggled to push back pests this summer. (Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

Bountyful — Some pests have struggled to push back pests this summer, so 2021 has been described as the worst mosquito season in Utah’s history.

The crew said the high temperatures were causing mosquitoes to grow.

As you can imagine, the number of mosquitoes that breed in floods is actually quite low, but the types of mosquitoes that breed in existing wetlands are. To make matters worse, they are the species known to carry the West Nile virus.

At the southwestern tip of Davis County, abatement engineer Trevor Larsen searched for water in the wetlands with little success.

“It’s all dry,” he said.

However, mosquitoes performed very well in areas with pools of water.

Gary Hatch, head of the mosquito control district in Davis County, said:

Hatch said it could be an early peak or a sign of a much larger peak within a few weeks.

“When the heat began to begin in May, we were very worried and in fact their numbers began to grow,” he said.

Harm engineer Trevor Larsen explores the wetlands at the southwestern tip of Davis County. The crew said the high temperatures were causing mosquitoes to grow.
Harm engineer Trevor Larsen explores the wetlands at the southwestern tip of Davis County. The crew said the high temperatures were causing mosquitoes to grow. (Photo: Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

Many of their traps are full.

“These are Culex pipiens. They carry the West Nile virus,” Hatch said.

That was a big concern and that’s why the lab started testing early.

“The West Nile virus was detected faster than ever,” Hatch said.

That may mean more cases of the disease, but there is another hurdle to overcome this year. Engineers like Larsen have fulfilled their dual obligations. Like everywhere else, hatches are having a hard time getting help from the summer.

They are about to expire with about half of the staff they want.

“This year is the most difficult year we’ve ever had, with heat, mosquitoes and a shortage of employees,” said Hatch, who has been in Davis County for 27 years.

He said everyone would need to be more vigilant outside, using repellents, and long sleeves and trousers if we could tolerate it.

In particular, these mosquitoes bite after the sun goes down, but the hatch said it was aggressive.

And as always, he told me not to collect water around your house.

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