Sioux Falls Pulling Mosquito Traps: Expert Looks Back At Season And West Nile Virus

South Dakota Has Seen 66 WNV Cases So Far This Year, 151 Reported in 2016

Sioux Falls is done testing mosquito populations for the season. While people are still feeling the bite from mosquitoes, the city says we’ll see a lot less in the coming weeks.

City of Sioux Falls Health Program Coordinator Denise Patton said, “I know that people are still seeing mosquitoes, and the last week-and-a-half is still really fresh in people’s minds, they’re thinking, ‘oh my gosh, mosquitoes are terrible. What do you mean you’re pulling traps?'”

But Patton says it’s typical for the city to start pulling mosquito traps at the end of September.

Patton said, “It was kind of dry actually, early in the season, so we didn’t have a lot of the heavy biting mosquitoes early on, and I think that’s why this last month or so it just seemed like, ‘oh my gosh, I’ve never seen mosquitoes so bad or it felt just horrible’.”

Patton says the mosquito population has already started to dwindle.

“You’re going to see a huge difference very, very soon. They just start behaving as if it’s winter coming because that’s their biology,” said Patton.

Patton says as far as the West Nile Virus, it’s later in the season when they see mosquitoes test positive. That’s when it starts to amplify in bird populations and then in mosquitoes.

“We always see West Nile Virus positive pools, so that’s not unusual. The numbers weren’t near as high as they were last year,” Patton said.

So far this year, South Dakota has seen 66 cases compared to 151 last year. However, Patton says Lincoln and Minnehaha counties continue to carry less than five percent of the West Nile cases in the state.

Patton said, “We have the largest population in the state, so that says a lot for our program and how aggressive it is.”

And pulling traps doesn’t mean the city is done treating mosquitoes altogether. They will treat water sources and do spot treatments if they need to.

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