Preventative West Nile virus mosquito spraying to begin along Columbia trails

Thursday, June 6, 2013 | 5:40 p.m. CDT; updated 7:23 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 6, 2013

COLUMBIA — Columbia and Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services will begin spraying for mosquitoes along Columbia trails early Friday morning.

A small, red truck will be driving down city trails between midnight and 6 a.m., according to a release from the department. Spraying is done during these hours because temperatures are lower and mosquitoes are more active, according to the release. The department is partnering with the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department to reduce the number of mosquitoes along trails.

A primary concern surrounding mosquitoes is the spread of the West Nile virus. The risk of the virus in the area is lessened thanks to the recent rainfall, said Kala Wekenborg, the Environmental Public Health Supervisor for the department.

"Rain keeps those pools of water flushed out," she said.

Should conditions dry out, concerns about the virus could rise because mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water.

The department will continue the spraying program every Friday morning through early fall.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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