West Nile virus season arrives in Niagara

West Nile virus season has arrived in Niagara.

Regional health officials say that warmer temperatures are here, and with them come the onset of West Nile virus season.

Residents and visitors to Niagara are encouraged to take protective measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Some of the tips include wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when outdoors.

Use mosquito repellent, drain any areas of standing or stagnant water and make sure all windows and doors in your home have screens.

Officals say low impact larvicides (methoprene and Bti) will be applied to areas on public property where mosquitoes are breeding beginning at the end of May and monthly through the summer season.

These include catch basins and other standing water sites that cannot be easily drained.

In addition, 21 mosquito traps will be placed throughout the region to capture mosquitoes that will be tested for the virus.

Niagara residents with municipally-owned catch basins located on their private property can arrange to have the low impact larvicide (methoprene) placed in them by contacting Niagara Region Public Health.

Residents can access this service, at no cost, by completing an online form found at niagararegion.ca/health or by calling Niagara Region Public Health at 905-688-8248 ext. 7767 or 1-888-505-6074.

West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes and can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and flu-like illness.

The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes that become infected by feeding on an infected bird. Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have been found in urban areas.