Hot, dry summer and wet spring create perfect conditions for mosquitoes in Idaho

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Starting in the spring the Twin Falls Pest Abatement team will treat water around the county to prevent mosquitoes from hatching there.

"Our goal is to protect public health," said Kirk Tubbs, the pest abatement manager.

It's a simple concept, if there are less mosquitoes, there's less of a chance of transmitting the West Nile Virus to a human. That's a difficult task this year though.

"We had an abundance of moisture this spring and it creates lots of mosquito habitat and that's led to more mosquitoes throughout the whole season," Tubbs said.

The high water levels combined with hot and dry conditions makes for perfect conditions for mosquitoes to spread. The Twin Falls Pest Abatement District has treated the water in about 8,000 places. But even that won't eliminate the insects.

"The public has a very important role in this too," Tubbs said. "If you have a back yard look for buckets and horse troughs and containers. It doesn't take long for a mosquito to lay eggs and them to hatch out."

Mosquitos have been testing positive for West Nile around the state. On Thursday the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare said the first human case was confirmed in Kootenai County.

Gooding County had a mosquito test positive near Hagerman last week. Tubbs says there is usually a two to four week lag between mosquito infections and human ones.

"Since we saw the virus last week in Gooding County then yeah, I'd say if we're going to see human cases it'll happen in the next few weeks," Tubbs said.

Typically July is the peak for Mosquitoes. So Idaho may be on a down-turn in the insect's population. However, he said the next few weeks are critical to preventing the West Nile Virus spreading to humans.

He urged people to watch for standing water on their property. Irrigation water pooled up in a ditch or buckets with small pools of water can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

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