Backyard Sheds

Four county crows have West Nile


HUDSON—Four crows found in Craryville, Valatie and Greenport have tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to the Columbia County Department of Health, which received the test results from the state Department of Health, September 3.
As of July 31, only 1 case of human West Nile Virus has been reported in the state—in the Bronx.
Mosquitoes spread West Nile Virus. Protecting oneself against mosquito bites is the best way to avoid the transmission of the disease.
Many of the mosquitoes that can transmit West Nile Virus lay their eggs in stagnant water.
“Any standing water around the yard can provide a home for mosquitoes to breed. Mosquitoes can then enter houses through broken screens or unscreened windows or doors,” County Public Health Sanitarian Ed Coons said in a press release.
Mosquitoes can breed in any stagnant water that hangs around for more than four days. To reduce the mosquito population around homes and property, the health department advises people to take the following steps to reduce or eliminate standing water:
*Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers
*Drill drain holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors
*Make sure roof gutters drain properly and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall
*Turn over wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use
*Change the water in bird baths twice a week
*Dispose of used tires. Call the local landfill or public works department to find out how to dispose of them properly
*Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds
*Clean and properly chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs
*Drain water from pool covers
*Use landscaping techniques to eliminate standing water that collects on property
*Make sure windows and doors have screens in good condition
      For more information or to report dead birds, particularly crows, call the Columbia County Health Department at (518) 828-3358 during regular business hours Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on West Nile Virus, visit the state Health Department website at

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