Preventing West Nile Virus On Your Farm

Nearly 1/3 of horses infected with West Nile Virus will die or be euthanized.  Domestic poultry may become infected, but they usually do not become sick and do not die. The primary way to control this problem is to reduce potential mosquito breeding sites.

Eliminating places for mosquitoes to breed is an important part of pest management and, whenever possible, is the preferred method of mosquito control. Several habitats found on farms can support the production of mosquitoes. Larvae can develop in watering troughs, small ponds, irrigation ditches, rain barrels, manure lagoons, ruts where farm equipment frequently travels and other areas where water is allowed to accumulate. Even hoof prints can accumulate water and provide a breeding habitat. The close proximity of livestock, nuisance animals (such as birds) and other animals to mosquito breeding habitats increases the risk for the transmission of animal and human disease.



What Can You Do?

Improve drainage in irrigated fields, and fill in ruts made by tractors and other farming equipment.

Thoroughly clean watering troughs regularly. Remove containers that accumulate water, including old tires. Aerate small ponds and stock them with native fish that eat mosquito larvae such as fathead minnows and killifish minnows.

In situations where eliminating mosquito breeding areas is not a practical alternative, larvicide is the most effective control technique. Larvicides can only be applied by certified pesticide applicators. An applicator can help you to determine which product would best suit your situation, and what type of control activities should be conducted.

Call the Clark County Health Department at  812-282-7521 for more information on controlling mosquito populations on your farm.


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