West Nile virus season begins

Warmer temperatures are here, and with them come the onset of West Nile virus season. Niagara residents and visitors to the area are encouraged to take the following protective measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes:

  • ​Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when outdoors
  • Whenever you use mosquito repellent, apply a product containing DEET or Icaridin, and carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s directions
  • Drain any areas of standing or stagnant water
  • Make sure all windows and doors in your home have screens

Again this year, low impact larvicides (methoprene and Bti) will be applied to areas on public property where mosquitoes are breeding beginning at the end of May and monthly through the summer season. These include catch basins and other standing water sites that cannot be easily drained. In addition, 21 mosquito traps will be placed throughout the region to capture mosquitoes that will be tested for the virus.

Niagara residents with municipally-owned catch basins located on their private property can arrange to have the low impact larvicide (methoprene) placed in them by contacting Niagara Region Public Health. Residents can access this service, at no cost, by completing an online form found at niagararegion.ca/health or by calling Niagara Region Public Health at 905-688-8248 ext. 7767 or 1-888-505-6074.

West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes and can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and flu-like illness. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes that become infected by feeding on an infected bird. Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have been found in urban areas.


"The most important ways to control West Nile virus include eliminating mosquito breeding areas around the home, reducing personal risk by covering up when outdoors, and wearing insect repellents containing DEET or Icaridin."
~ Peter Jekel, Manager, Environmental Health


Peter Jekel
Niagara Region Public Health
905-688-8248 ext. 7219

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