Protecting your property from West Nile


Libby and DaveWe live on a small farm just south of Houston, Texas.  Texas is having its worst year ever for West Nile, and we naturally have been concerned.  Carried by infected mosquitoes, West Nile is transmitted from mosquitos to certain types of birds, and then on to humans and some types of livestock.

For humans, the symptoms of West Nile may be unnoticeable.  Or, the infection may be very serious indeed.  West Nile has been known to cause death, and is to be taken very seriously.

Although the majority of humans who contract West Nile will have no symptoms at all, about 20% will become seriously ill.  Symptoms are flu-like, and include fever, muscle or joint pain, headache, nausea, vomiting, fever, fatigue, and diarrhea.  More severe cases may cause West Nile Meningitis, which could lead to paralysis, coma, and death.

You can imagine Dave’s and my concern when we learned that several cases of West Nile have been found in our community.  Knowing that mosquitoes breed in bodies of standing water, we became even more vigilant about routinely emptying birdbaths and other outside water containers.

Standing water, such as that which is present on the water’s edge of this pond, can attract mosquitoes. 

Our large duck pond was of particular concern, until we discovered that the many small fish and minnows eat whatever mosquito larvae are present in the pond.

Libby and Dave
10/5/2012 4:18:06 PM

Thanks Dave! Yes, it is a wonderful pond. Our friends children love to come and canoe on it, and it's just small enough that we can keep an eye on them. We are coming out of a drought, although we still aren't up to our average rainfall. Last year at this time, the pond was almost completely dry, and we lost many of our big fish. It was sad to see 4-foot long koi and other prized fish dying. Hopefully you'll come out of your drought soon up in Nebraska.

9/30/2012 12:52:32 PM

Libby and Dave, welcome to the GRIT blogging community. We here in Nebraska have a few West Nile cases every year but nothing like what Texas had this year. The weather was so hot and dry that bugs of any kind were not an issue. My 400 gallon horse tank used for collecting rain water for garden watering had a small electric fountain to keep the water from getting stagnate. Your precautions are right on target. Standing water is the main culprit for mosquitoes. That's a really nice looking duck pond. Your area looks so nice and green. Nebraska was the victim of no rain during July and for two months no grass grew unless a lot of water was dumped on the lawn. I chose not to water and pay the utility company hundreds of dollars. Now I'm faced with reseeding a few spots. Of course, the crab grass seemed to thrive on the hot dry weather. Have a great mosquito free day.

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