CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Biologists with the Chesapeake Mosquito Control Commission say a significant number of mosquitoes have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.
“It is pretty bad,“ said Chris Craig, one of many Chesapeake residents dealing with the unwanted guests.
“A night like this, when there is no breeze or anything, it is pretty uncomfortable to be outside,” said resident Mike McRory. “You bring your dog out and you start getting bit within minutes.”
Not only are the number of mosquitoes up, but so are the number of cases of West Nile Virus. It’s prompted the Chesapeake Health Department to issue an alert, letting people know to protect themselves.
“It’s pretty dangerous,” Craig said. “I know that stuff is getting bad these days, and it’s scary that people die from that stuff.“
While summer might be nearing an end, officials say the mosquito season could get worse for another eight weeks. Spraying has been increased in hopes of controlling the population.
“Occasionally we will see the trucks come though and start fogging,” McRory added. “You know, how effective they are, who knows?“
Virginia Beach has issued similar warnings. More mosquitoes are testing positive for West Nile Virus there, too.
“You’ve got to take care of your area around your home,” McCory said. “Do what you can do with standing water and those general things. It’s concerning, but you hope everything works out in the end.“
“My parents have a bunch of tiki torches,” Craig added. “My dad has a big fogger machine. When we have little cookouts, for the most part we just deal with it, and if it gets to bad we just go back in house.“
The bugs are capable of passing the disease along to humans. While less than one percent of people infected with WNV develop severe illness or neurological problems, officials say it’s best if you protect yourself from mosquitoes.
Health officials say to get rid of standing water around your home, wear long sleeves and pants when you’re outside and use bug spray.
The city will continue day-time and night-time spraying in the areas where mosquitoes tested positive for WNV.