The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reopened the public comment period on its draft mosquito and mosquito-borne disease management policy until Feb. 19.
Existing policies do not address mosquito control. The new policy states, “We will allow populations of native mosquito species to function unimpeded unless they cause a human and/or wildlife health threat.”
The policy then details how refuges should monitor and manage mosquito populations. Generally, the refuges have been set up to conserve natural habitats for wildlife, including insects.
However, mosquitoes can present significant public health issues, serving as vectors for diseases such as West Nile virus. Through this past Dec. 11, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 3,400 cases, including 98 deaths, of human West Nile virus in 43 states, equine cases in at least 33 states and more than 2,000 bird deaths from the virus during the year.
Click here for a copy of the draft policy.