West Nile cases surge in Mississippi, pest control companies prepare for more
Category: Pest Control
The West Nile virus continues to spread to within the United States, making it critical for pest control companies in the affected areas to prepare for an influx in mosquito-related calls.
Pest Control Technology is reporting that 78 individuals in Mississippi have now been diagnosed with West Nile virus, and one death has already been attributed to the virus. Cases have been rampant across the Bible Belt as both Texas and Oklahoma have also recorded numerous cases.
“Activity has been confirmed statewide, but most cases are in central and south Mississippi,” said Jerome Goddard, associate professor of medical and veterinary entomology with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service. “There were 52 total cases in 2011, and my best guess is that we are poised to have more than 100 cases this year.”
West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes that have bitten an infected bird, and can lead to those who witness infestations of mosquitoes to contact their local pest control professionals to eradicate the insects. As a result of the West Nile scare, pest control companies in Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma and elsewhere are having to take on extra business to deal with the situation.
“Everyone in Mississippi should take the proper precautions, no matter where they live,” said Wendy Varnado, entomologist with the Mississippi Department of Health. “West Nile virus is found most often in urban areas, but just because it hasn’t been confirmed in an area, doesn’t mean it’s not present. It can show up anywhere.”
So far, 25 counties in Mississippi have had confirmed human cases of West Nile virus, as reported by the state's Department of Health. These counties include Clarke, Copiah, Forrest, Lamar, Jones, Lawrence, Smith, Sunflower, Wayne and Yazoo, among others. Rankin County's 16 confirmed cases was the most among the state's counties, the news source stated.
So, how can small business owners that specialize in pest control services cope with the surge in business during these last few warm weather months? Updating technology and software among their field service professionals is one effective method. By fitting staff members who work off site with smartphones, digital tablets or laptop computers, pest control businesses may be able to improve communications with field workers and provide them with the up-to-date information they need to address calls efficiently and safely.