May 21,



Each summer, Peterborough Public Health traps mosquitoes which are submitted for  species identification and West Nile virus testing.

Why does Public Health trap mosquitoes?

The Public Health sets up mosquito traps as a part of mosquito surveillance in the City and County area.  Mosquitoes that are caught in the traps are sent away for testing.  During testing, the total number of mosquitoes collected can be counted, the species of mosquitoes can be identified, and most importantly, it can be determined if the mosquitoes are carrying the West Nile virus.

If I see a trap what should I know?

The mosquito traps encourage mosquitoes to fly to the area of the trap and away from people.

The traps are equipped with a light and dry ice that attracts the mosquitoes. The mosquitoes will then fly into the trap and are held in a net. Peterborough Public Health staff monitor and maintain the traps daily.

Does Peterborough Public Health collect dead birds?

Peterborough Public Health does not collect dead birds. In previous years dead birds were used to determine whether or not West Nile virus was in Peterborough and surrounding areas. However, now that it is known that West Nile is well established here, Peterborough Public Health traps mosquitoes for testing because they give a better indication of which specific areas have mosquito populations that carry the virus. For more information on the safe disposal of dead birds, please visit the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Healthcare Centre website.

For current status of West Nile in Canada, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada.

For current status of West Nile in the United States, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Last modified on Jul 08, 2016