Soon we’ll know if there are any of the local pests are able to carry the disease.
The Huron County Public Health department will be setting up its six mosquito traps this week throughout the county as breeding season for the special breeds begin, specifically the Aedes aegypti.
“We’re working with the city leaders and those around the county to find the best locations to set (the mosquito traps) up,” said director of environmental health Eric Cherry.
The board approved the purchase of six mosquito trap kits in March. The traps will enabel them to see how many, if any, of this breed of mosquitoes there are and where the breeding grounds are approximately located.
“These are the best traps out there. They said if you don’t catch any, don’t assume you’re doing it wrong,” Cherry said at a previous meeting. “There may not be any around.”
Area officials helped the department select optimal locations for set up.
“We’ll be changing up the locations regularly to make sure we watch the county. Things actually worked out really well with the city leaders. We went out and we were able to identify at least 10 spots per city.
“We’ll be checking the traps daily. We’re not sure how many we’ll be catching or if we’ll find any (Zika-transmitting mosquitoes), but we’re planning right now to put the shipments out to the state about once a week probably. And then they’ll send us back the results and let us know. Obviously, we’re hoping they all come back negative.”
But if the results come back positive for a mosquitoes that can or do carry Zika, the department has a plan.
“If one of the traps do catch any then what we’ll do is set a couple traps around the area and gradually move them out from the area to identify a radius of where they’re at so we can let the city leaders and others know,” Cherry said.
“If we find (Asian Tigers) here, OK, then they can find out where and in what density and proceed from there. It could be just one city block. We wouldn’t necessarily need to spray for that. It could be up to that block’s residents to eliminate the standing water (used for breeding grounds) instead.”
The traps may not be out for the hours many would expect.
“The traps will only be out from dawn and picked up just before dusk,” Cherry said. “So someone will go and set them up at sunrise and we’ll take them down at sunset because they’re actually day biters. That’s probably just the opposite of what you may expect, but they aren’t typically active at night like most other mosquitoes.”
The department though has asked that if any residents find the traps that they refrain from tampering with the kits or the area surrounding them.
“The traps will be visible, but we don’t want people messing with them for obvious reasons,” he said. “Like I said they’ll be visible, we’re not going to hide them, but we’re not going to be releasing the locations because we don’t want the traps or surrounding areas tampered with.”