Early Detection Of West Nile Virus In Laramie Not A Concern

Jun 20, 2019

Most of the mosquitoes in Laramie are nuisance mosquitoes, not the West Nile virus vector mosquitoes.
Credit Alvesgaspar via Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The City of Laramie regularly tests mosquitos caught in traps for the presence of West Nile Virus. So far, in the month of June, they've tested three samples. Last week, one came back positive. For the Laramie Valley, this is an earlier than usual detection of the virus. 

People who are infected can develop a fever or other symptoms.

Tyler Shevling, Laramie’s Mosquito Control Supervisor, said the positive test isn't something to be concerned about.

There are two kinds of mosquitos in Laramie, vector mosquitos, which carry West Nile virus, and nuisance mosquitos, which don't. Shevling said despite the unusually early detection of the virus, there are low numbers of vector mosquitos in Laramie.

"Through the seasons of late July and early August, that's when we see a lot of our peak numbers of our vector mosquitos and when the virus is usually most active here in the Laramie Valley," Shevling said. "A lot of the mosquitos we're seeing right now are actually the nuisance floodwater mosquitos coming off of hay meadows from outside of town."

Shelving said mosquitos are most active at dawn and dusk, so to avoid being bitten, avoid being outside at those hours. When you are out, make sure to use an EPA approved repellant, like DEET.

To discourage mosquitos around the house, you can repair holes in screens on windows and doors, especially in sleeping areas, and dump any standing water. If you have something like a doggie pool or water bowl, empty and refill it once a week to help keep mosquito numbers down.