The District has an extensive mosquito trapping program used to monitor mosquito populations and to detect diseases. Different types of traps are used depending on the environment, the species to be trapped, and the type of data needed.
The District uses sentinel chickens in rural parts of the county
to detect West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. They
serve as an early indicator of disease in areas where dead birds
are less likely to be seen and/or reported.
From May through October, sentinel chickens are bled bi-weekly
and their blood is tested for the presence of antibodies
to West Nile virus and
diseases. They are bled humanely by a lancet similar to a
Dead birds and squirrels are often the first indicator that West
Nile virus exists in an area. Certain species of birds are very
susceptible to West Nile virus and will die quickly after
infection, while others can live with the virus. Information on
the species and location of infected birds is used to make
calculated decisions on mosquito control.