Often times at the office we get emails and marketing copy with the wording of “mosquitoes” and sometimes “mosquitos”. It is one of those interesting words to tackle when making it plural. If you are like me you will stare at certain words and wonder, ‘did I spell that correctly?’.
So I thought I would take a moment to share a bit about mosquitoes vs mosquitos.
Seems to be that this problem surfaces because of our English language’s odd nature when pluralizing words that end with the letter ‘O’.
The plural of potato is potatoes. Same problem with tomato and tomatoes. For some reason that ‘tomatoes’ looks odd to me so I might double check myself or just roll on.
If spell-check then lets a ‘tomatos’ reference ride then so will I.
The answer to our mystery is not in an either/or, but it is solved with a both/and.
Simply put, you are okay to use either spelling of mosquitoes or mosquitos.
This is good because the grammar police can be a real pain. And if you see the grammar police giving anyone the shakedown about using mosquitoes vs mosquitos in the wrong context, well you just send them over here to Johnson Pest Control.
Metro Public Health Department’s Pest Management Division has its first positive tests of West Nile after trapping mosquitoes near the intersection of 28th Avenue North and Clifton Avenue. So far, Davidson County residents have escaped contracting the virus this year.
To detect the West Nile Virus officials will collect swaths of mosquitoes from various areas to test for the presence of the virus. This finding is not due to a local resident being diagnose with the West Nile Virus.
So how can you protect yourself from getting the West Nile Virus?
The health department recommends that people decrease their risk to exposure by limiting time outdoors at dusk and night, wearing an effective mosquito repellant and wearing socks, long-sleeved shirts and pants. Screens on windows and doors should also be in good repair.
People can also protect themselves by removing items from their yard that collect water and by cleaning clogged gutters.
Spring is here and with spring comes mosquitoes. With mosquitoes comes the inevitable news of some mosquito being found to have West Nile Virus. West Nile Virus is a mosquito born illness that was isolated, for a time, to the Nile river of Eastern Africa. In recent decades though the WNV has gone completely global. In cases the WNV has been known to be fatal if left untreated.
How Do They Find West Nile Virus?
If you watch the news you will hear a few times a year that ‘authorities have found a mosquito positive for west nile virus’. If you are like me you immediately wonder, ‘How in the world did they find that one mosquito which had the West Nile Virus?’
Come to find out, the process is not that complicated.
First you grab a good sized sample of mosquitoes from a particular area. Biologists, entomologists, wildlife professionals will use a ovitrap, carbon dioxide, light, or other trap to collect a large sample of mosquitoes in a particular area. If there are dead animals, namely birds, in the area the experts might test the animals/birds for west nile virus to tip them off that the virus is in the area.
The mosquito sample collected will then be tested through a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test, know as RT-PCR for short (we had to look it up). This will help scientists to spot the west nile virus in a mosquito or other animal.
Authorities will then report their findings to local entities as well as the Center for Disease Control, which keeps some pretty solid data on the movements of west nile virus.
So when the news says that biologists found a mosquito that tested positive for West Nile Virus you can tell everyone at the party that it was this big process of catching a bunch of mosquitoes and then testing them to determine the presence of west nile in your area.
Keeping Mosquitoes Away
To keep mosquitoes away local authorities will put resources into minimizing the mosquito populations. Sprays or water treatments to ponds or reservoirs are areas that officials will focus on. Around your home you can do similar things to prevent the growth of mosquitoes as well. Eliminating standing water, having a professional spray treatment done as well as protecting yourself and family with DEET or permethrin on your body or clothes respectively will help to keep mosquitoes and West Nile Virus exposure at minimums.
Currently there is no direct treatment for West Nile Virus. Medical professionals will utilize a host of options for replacing fluids, rest, and other ailments. However there still is no cure or vaccination.