Mosquito infestation plagues south county
There aren’t too many people living right on the Walker River in southeastern Douglas County, but there are a lot of mosquitoes.
Resident Greg Ross said he is trying to get some help, but has run into a brick wall.
“It’s frustrating,” he said. “There’s no money down here, but just because we don’t have any money, doesn’t mean they should let us get West Nile Virus.”
He said he heard an estimate it would cost $62,000 to battle the mosquito menace in his corner of the county.
Ross believes the mosquitoes are breeding in the valley down below where he lives off American Way.
The issue is that water wasn’t released from Topaz Lake upstream until March 1, which turned the Walker into a marsh.
“They flooded the valley down below me,” he said. “It’s beautiful, all green, but they don’t have a plan. This is going to happen this year and next year.”
Despite the name, Douglas County Mosquito Abatement doesn’t actually cover all of Douglas County.
The district’s southern boundary is at Pine Valley Road in the Pine Nuts.
Like many of the various taxing districts in Douglas County, the mosquito district also doesn’t cover Lake Tahoe.
Residents wondering if they’re covered by the district can check their tax bills.
District Manager Krista Jenkins said that until West Nile virus arrived in Western Nevada, the county didn’t contract out to cover Topaz Ranch Estates and the area along Walker River.
“We have a very limited contract with Douglas County for that area,” she said. “We trap and do surveillance and fog as necessary.”
Ross has sought help for the issue from a variety of sources, including county commissioners.
That was probably a good call, since Jenkins said a major fogging operation would require the county to agree to pay for the work.
“Anything big or out of the ordinary, we submit a plan and cost to Douglas County and they decide,” she said. “We do the same thing for the Douglas County portion of Lake Tahoe, as they are not in our District either.”
A particularly wet winter has brought mosquitoes out across the county, which raises concerns about West Nile.
The district sprayed Minden and the Gardnerville Ranchos this week, and was in Genoa spraying the week before.
For more information about how to protect yourself from mosquito bites, visit https://dcmosquito.wixsite.com/dcmad