While vaccinating horses against the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus has greatly reduced the number of equine deaths from WNV in the past few years, it’s still cause for concern.
Both horses and humans should be protected from mosquito bites as much as possible.
In Massachusetts, state health officials are expecting a record number of disease carrying pests this year, while a child in the Salt Lake City area came down with the first human case of the disease in Utah this year. Human and horse cases have been reported in New Mexico, California and the Northeast.
Although your horses may be vaccinated and protected, you aren’t. When you’re working outside with your horses, remember to wear long sleeves and long pants, use a DEET or lemon eucalyptus repellant, avoid dusk and dawn, remove or turn over containers that have standing water and regularly scrub water troughs to remove algae. It has been shown that bug zappers and some natural fly and insect repellents do not work against mosquitoes.