April’s Ag Advice

April's Ag Advice by April Borders "Mosquito Control for Beginners", a V-tel (interactive video) educational presentation will be held on May 11 at the Yankton County Extension Office at 901 Whiting Drive, Yankton. The presentation will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m. This training is aimed at individuals, community officials and governmental employees who are just beginning to assemble a public mosquito control program and should be useful to anyone who will be working with mosquito control.

Speakers for the program are:

Dr. Lon Kightlinger, South Dakota Department of Health � Status of West Nile Virus in the U.S. & South Dakota.

Dr. Mike Catangui, Extension entomologist, SDSU � Mosquitoes Biology Basics and Larval Control.

Steve Spitler, Department of Agriculture � Certification, Response Plans, Records and What is Required.

Mike Hildreth, professor of biology & microbiology, SDSU � Where and What are these Mosquitoes? Surveillance and Identification Resources.

Jim Wilson, Extension pesticide education coordinator, SDSU � Adult Control, and Working with the Public.

The session will end with an open forum and a chance to ask questions of the speakers.

The meeting is being provided free of charge to the public, but you are asked to bring at least one question that you would like to have answered. Seating is limited so please pre-register online at � http://plantsci.sdstate.edu/pat/mcb/ or by calling the Yankton County Extension Office at 605-665-3387 or the Clay County Extension Office at 605-677-7111 and we will register you.

Many communities will be doing public mosquito control programs this year and many people are taking the Public Health Pest Control Examination, Category 9, for their Commercial Applicators certification. Knowing the basics will help understand the best way to control mosquitoes, how to correctly calculate chemical applications and correctly apply those chemicals. It will also help you in how to answer the public's questions about why you are doing what you are doing.

Last year there were 1,039 cases of West Nile Virus reported in humans, plus two cases of St. Louis encephalitis � another mosquito-borne disease. The West Nile Virus cases resulted in 14 deaths.

Even though many cities and counties are providing public mosquito control programs this year, we all still need to do our part as individuals to protect ourselves from being bitten by mosquitoes. Community control programs only reduce the threat of contracting West Nile Virus from mosquitoes; it does not eliminate the threat. The most important steps individuals can take to protect themselves are to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and to use personal mosquito repellents, especially those containing DEET.

We, as individuals, also need to reduce mosquito breeding areas around our homes and on our own private property. Drain areas were there is standing water. Locate everything that holds water and drain it. If you have bird baths you should drain or replace water in them every two weeks. Take some time and look around to see what you can do to help reduce mosquito populations.

For more information about mosquito control or the upcoming training program contact the Clay County Extension Office at 677-7111.

FYI � The 2004 County Level Land Rents and Values for South Dakota have been released. If you are interested in a copy contact the office or you can find it on line at http://www.nass.usda.gov/sd/.

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