Logan City tests and traps mosquitoes weekly, leading to discovery of West Nile Virus

Jake Tippetts, the City’s mosquito technician, uses tweezers, a sharp eye to separate the male and female mosquitoes, Wed., Aug 8, 2018.

West Nile mosquitoes were found in a west Logan mosquito trap last Friday. Logan’s Head of Forestry and Mosquito Abatement District, Rex Davis, said they trap once a week, separate them on Tuesdays, and send their results Wednesdays to the State Lab. The lab reports the results on Fridays.

Jake Tippetts, the city’s mosquito technician, examines mosquitoes though a microscope and puts the different species in separate containers to ship to the State Lab on Wed., Aug. 8, 2018.

“This is the first sample that came back positive this year,” he said. “We are in the peak of the season, which runs from the last week in July and runs to the second week of August.”

After the mosquitoes are trapped, Jake Tippetts, the city’s mosquito technician, uses tweezers, a sharp eye and microscope to separate the males from the females. Then he divides females into the different species before sending them off to the lab.

Tippetts pays special attention when he finds Culex pipiens and Cules tarsalis females, they are the ones that cause West Nile, which can sicken and kill birds, horses, and people.

Logan’s Head of Forestry and Mosquito Abatement District, Rex Davis, shows a picture of the type of mosquito that carries West Nile Virus.

The female mosquitoes are the ones that bite; they require blood to produce eggs.

The Logan facility sends all their species to the State Lab to rule out other illnesses like Zika, malaria, or any other carried by the insects.

Davis said, “We get midges in our traps and they look a lot like mosquitoes. We have to separate them from the rest of the catch. We also get an occasional wasp or moth, but we have never caught a honey bee.”

Jake Tippetts, Logan City’s mosquito technician, separates mosquitoes from the rest of the catch on Wed., Aug 8, 2018.

“The best thing people can do is to notify us if they have standing water,” Tippetts says. “We have a growth regulator that we can put in the water and it hampers the development of larva. We can put the growth regulator out for them. It will not harm other animals or fish. It is specifically for mosquitoes.”

He especially wanted people to notify them if they can help people with mosquito problems. That information can be found at loganutah.org.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said, fortunately, most people infected with West Nile Virus do not exhibit symptoms. About one in five people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms.

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