After Knox County’s first confirmed human case of West Nile Virus since 2013, experts say spraying for mosquitoes is more important now than ever.
The Knox County Health Department said one person tested positive for the virus last week and is recovering. Symptoms of the virus include fever, headache and body aches and swollen lymph nodes.
Even though it’s October, a typically cooler, drier month, Dennis Laney with Mosquito Authority says the mosquito season is nowhere near over.
"With all this rain, one tablespoon of water can produce 100 eggs," Laney said.
Mosquito populations start to decrease when temperature drop. But, with the recent rain and temperatures near 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, Laney said he expects mosquitoes to be around until Thanksgiving.
“You’ve got to protect yourself and your family,” he said.
Laney goes door-to-door inspecting yards and spraying for mosquitoes. On Sunday, he stopped by John Weidekamp’s home in West Knoxville.
“You’ll need to get that emptied out,” Laney explained as he dumped out a watering can. Any standing water can be perfect breeding grounds for the pests. Laney recommends you “tip or toss” any water in your yard.
“Getting rid of the standing water will go a long way toward eliminating your mosquito population,” Laney said.
“It’s concerning. I want to give my child the best opportunities available and keep him as healthy as can be,” Weidekamp said. “If it’s something as simple as 'tip or toss' as Dennis was saying, then I think that’s something I can do as a father, easily.”
Mosquito Authority says they will spray any yard belonging to pregnant women for free. That's only if she lives in an area Knox County is spraying.
The health department will also spray in West Knoxville along Dixon Road and Deane Hill on Monday.
The Tennessee Department of Health says to use mosquito repellent while outside, so you can continue doing outdoor activities.
The TN Health Dept. has more information on how to protect you and your family from contracting West Nile virus.