PIERRE, S.D. (KELO-AM) – Mosquito control might seem like an odd topic for a cold winter day but state officials are looking ahead to this summer’s threat of West Nile virus (WNV) and surveying communities about their control programs.
West Nile virus was first reported in South Dakota in 2002 and the state has had among the highest per capita disease rates in the nation. Communities have responded by creating mosquito control programs and the state has conducted research and provided training opportunities for those programs. The state has also provided funding support for communities to establish programs.
“We know some communities have struggled to maintain and fund their mosquito control programs,” said Lon Kightlinger, state epidemiologist for the Department of Health. “We’ve had more than a decade of WNV transmission in South Dakota now so it’s appropriate that we take a look at the current status of mosquito control capacity on the community level and assess future needs.”
Kightlinger said the South Dakota Community Mosquito Control Capacity Survey is a joint effort of the department and SDSU Extension. Its aim is to identify the current capacity of community control programs as well any needs for additional research, resources and training.
Surveys have been sent to community mosquito control program are also available online. Programs with questions about the survey can contact Jim Wilson, former extension pesticide education coordinator from South Dakota State University at firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line “mosquito control.”