West Nile Virus

Combating the Virus
Each year, since 2003, the Oakland County Board of Commissioners has passed a resolution which provides funding to cities, villages and townships within Oakland County to help combat the West Nile Virus (WNV).

With these funds, Waterford Township has purchased mosquito repellent wipes and sprays. They are available to residents free of charge. They can be picked up in the Building and Engineering Department, on the 3rd floor of Town Hall, during normal business hours. Please contact Stacy St. James with any questions at 248-674-6240 or by email.

What is West Nile Virus?
West Nile Virus is a disease primarily of the bird population. It is spread when a mosquito bites and extracts blood from an infected bird then subsequently bites an uninfected bird thereby transferring the virus. Nearly all documented cases of a mosquito carrying the WNV have been found in Culex mosquitoes. Adult Culex mosquitoes live in the upper levels of high trees in order to be close to birds which are their preferred source of blood.

Humans are one of the least desirable sources of blood for the Culex mosquito. The larvae of the Culex mosquito is deposited and matures in small pools of stagnant water, typical breeding areas include pet water dishes, pool covers, wading pools, discarded tires and catch basins. Bodies of water where the surface is subject to fluctuation or movement, such as lakes, rivers, ponds and flowing ditches, are not generally good breeding grounds for the Culex mosquito.

Minimizing Contact With Mosquitoes

The single best method to minimize the possibility of contracting West Nile Virus is for people to avoid contact with mosquitoes. The Township has prepared informational fliers that, over the next several months, will be sent to virtually all the residences within the Township advising of methods that can be used to minimize the possibility of being bitten by a mosquito carrying the WNV.

Another method to decrease the possibility of exposure to West Nile Virus is to reduce the population of the Culex mosquito. This can be done by utilizing a larvicide that will prevent the Culex larvae from maturing into adult mosquitoes, or by applying an adulticide to control the mature mosquitoes. For either of these methods to be effective it is important to accurately locate and identify the mosquito habitat and breeding grounds.