Williams continues with mosquito controls

Williams residents should once again feel some relief from pesky mosquitoes this summer.
The City Council, at their last meeting, accepted the proposal from the Colusa Mosquito Abatement District to fight the pesky insects at a cost of $64,095.

“This will be the fourth year in a row that we’ve worked on mosquito abatement,” said City Manger Frank Kennedy.

Kennedy said the level of service would be the same as 2017 with 15 aerial applications of insecticide, although the cost is about $10,000 more, largely due to the increase in the cost of chemicals and aircraft expenses.

The district is spraying insecticide weekly through August, and then will up the applications to twice a week in September, the peak of mosquito season.

Kennedy said between the aerial spraying and the placement of mosquito fish – which eat larvae before they hatch – in ditches with standing water, the mosquito populations are greatly reduced.

“It does seem to work in mid-to-late summer,” he said.

The district also traps mosquitos to identify species and check for disease, particularly West Nile virus, Kennedy said.

West Nile Virus is an infectious disease spread mostly to birds, horses, and humans by infected mosquitoes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, most people infected with West Nile virus either don’t develop symptoms or have only minor ones, such as fever and mild headache. However, some people develop a life-threatening illness that includes inflammation of the spinal cord or brain (encephalitis), which can be fatal, especially to the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.

As of last week, the California Department of Public Health confirmed West Nile Virus has been detected in 17 counties so far this season, including Yolo, and nine people from six counties have tested positive for the disease.

Williams officials remind the public to inspect their homes and yards thoroughly and remove any standing water from where mosquitoes might breed, including bird baths, ornamental ponds, house cooler units, clogged rain gutters, tin cans, buckets, rain barrels, and dishes under potted plants. The city also recommends not watering lawns to the point where water collects in street gutters.

To avoid mosquito bites, people should limit exposure to mosquitoes, especially at dawn or dusk, or by applying insect repellent containing DEET.