The City of Wentzville contracts with the St. Charles County Department of Public Health for control of mosquitoes. Spraying of adulticide and larvicide applications are scheduled within the City of Wentzville during the months of May through September. Expanded mosquito monitoring is planned for the City of Wentzville beginning this season. If you have a specific area of concern or questions, you may log on to the St. Charles County website at http://sccmo.org/ and click on "Report a Concern." If you have other questions or need assistance to report a mosquito concern, you may contact the City's Public Works Department through the online concern system, at (636) 639-7566 or the Concern Line at (636) 639-2121.
West Nile: What You Need to Know
West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne infection that may develop into a life-threatening illness. The majority of individuals who become infected experience few signs, with mild symptoms, such as fever or headaches. However, some cases develop into encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) in humans and horses. It also causes mortality in certain domestic and wild birds.
The virus is transmitted when mosquitoes become infected after feeding on infected birds and then spread to humans and other animals. It cannot be transmitted from person to person. Exposure to mosquitoes where West Nile Virus exists will increase chances for the infection to develop, so the best precautionary advice is to avoid these situations and to protect yourself using mosquito repellent.
West Nile Virus is commonly found in humans, birds and other vertebrates in Africa, Europe and Western Asia. The first documented reports of the virus in the Western Hemisphere were located in New York City (in 1999). Human, bird and mammal cases were subsequently reported through several Middle Atlantic states and New England. It has continued to spread throughout the United States, with the first cases reported in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area in October 2001. As a result of this spread, a regional task force (involving individuals from the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, the City of St. Peters and St. Charles County, with consultation from regional and national experts) developed a response action plan.
Symptoms & Treatment
Most infections are mild, and symptoms include fever, headache and body aches, occasionally with skin rash and swollen lymph glands. More severe infection may be marked by headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis and, rarely, death. West Nile Virus is only fatal in 3-15% of all cases, and persons older than 50 years of age or those with impaired immune systems have the highest risk for the development of severe infections. Mild cases usually resolve in a few days, but individuals experiencing signs or symptoms of serious infection should seek medical care immediately.
What Can You Do to Control Mosquitoes?
You can help control mosquitoes around your home and business by following these tips.
- Collect and discard all artificial containers such as tin cans, bottles, buckets, vases and old tires.
- Check and clean your rain gutters and downspouts, so they are not blocked by leaves or other debris.
- Stack pails, barrels, tubs and vases up-side down.
- Cover boats and canoes, or store them upside down.
- Stock garden pools and lily ponds with small fish, including the top water feeding minnow and goldfish.
- Fill in or drain any low places where water may stand for more than 10 days.
- Empty and clean small wading pools and bird baths weekly.
- Provide filtration and chlorination of backyard swimming pools.
- Drain outdoor pets and livestock water tanks weekly or stock them with goldfish or top water feedings minnows.
- Cover rain barrels, cisterns or fire barrels with 16-mesh wire screening.
- Store wheelbarrows upside down.
After you have taken steps to reduce mosquito habitat on your property, you can protect yourself by making sure your home is securely screened, wearing protective clothing and using mosquito repellent.