NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Officials with the Metro Public Health Department are beginning to trap mosquitoes and test them for West Nile Virus.
Traps have been set all over the county and are regularly visited by John Pico and other health department staff.
"[Mosquitoes] carry different diseases, and right now, the ones we're dealing with [carry] West Nile and that's the [disease] we're trying to keep under control," Pico explained.
The traps are filled with water, which mosquitoes can smell, according to Pico. When they go down for a drink, they get sucked up a tube and caught in a net.
He said as the temperatures climb over the coming days, Middle Tennesseans will begin to see more mosquitoes.
"Right now, it's not too warm out, but in the next couple of days, the temperature is going to start going back up," he said. "When it's in the 80s and 90s, the water doesn't need to stay out long for the mosquito larvae to come out."
Last year, the Metro Health Department had mosquitoes in five batches test positive for the West Nile Virus.
"They're all over the place. You can go up to Michigan, you can go up to the East Coast, you can go down south to Alabama, Florida, they're everywhere," Pico continued.
Homeowners can easily help reduce the number of mosquitoes by getting rid of standing water, where mosquitoes lay eggs.
"Keep the bushes cut back, clean the gutters out and have no standing water whatsoever," Pico explained. "They're part of nature and you just have to know how to deal with [them]."
On Saturday, the health department will hold a Public Health Backyard Inspection Day from 9 a.m. to 12 Noon.
The event will target residents in the Hartman Park area.
Staff from the health department will be going to door-to-door, offering approximately 200 homeowners' backyard inspections to identify mosquito breeding grounds.
In addition to the inspections, homeowners will learn how to protect themselves from biting mosquitoes.
Visit Health.Nashville.gov for more information, of if you'd like the health department to visit your home.