Keeping Buzz and Bites out of Summer Fun

AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Local 3692 member Gary Radabaugh and his Environmental Health coworkers at the Jackson County Health Department monitor mosquito populations across the county which are more than just a nuisance.  

With mosquitoes come not just itchy bites but the risk of diseases such as West Nile virus.  West Nile Virus is detected and reported in counties throughout Ohio yearly, and the virus becomes more prevalent in mosquito populations in the later summer months and into early fall.

“We set traps around the county and send the captured mosquitos, along with the GPS location of the trap, to the Ohio Department of Health where they are tested for West Nile virus. We also test swimming pools and other standing water locations where eggs can mature in as few as five days,” Radabaugh said.

Mosquito control also includes issuing orders to property owners to remove old tires, drain unused swimming pools, and drain other places that hold standing water where mosquitos breed. 

Like many public services, “the public doesn’t realize that board of health officials are the only ones who can enforce public health law - not the police. Although we work in the background, if we were not there it wouldn’t take the public long to miss us,” Radabaugh said   

So, if you come across a black box with a white net and a sign that reads "Mosquito Trapping in Progress Please do not disturb," then you've come across the traps being used around the state for West Nile Virus testing.