Chickens are on the front lines of the war against diseased mosquitoes in Lee County.
The Lee County Mosquito Control District is using them to track mosquito-borne viruses that are on the uptick in our area.
The mosquito control district has 17 chicken coops located across the county. The district tests the chickens once a week for viruses like West Nile. Recently, nearly all of their chicken coops have had some birds test positive for the virus. This means mosquitoes in the area are carrying West Nile, and mosquito control needs to get out and treat the grounds.
The regular testing allows the district to get ahead of situations like this. It’s been one of the busiest years in quite some time, according to mosquito control, and it’s only gotten worse because of West Nile. More helicopters and trucks are being sent out to the affected areas to treat the adult mosquitoes every day.
“Regardless, even though most people who get it may not react to it, it is still very important that we’re out there treating, because you don’t want to be that one in 150 and have a serious problem with it,” said Eric Jackson of Lee County Mosquito Control.
Jackson also stressed that people can and should take steps to protect themselves from mosquitoes, the biggest help being to mitigate standing water around your house.