West Nile prevention is a priority for therapeutic riding center - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

West Nile prevention is a priority for therapeutic riding center

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With a mosquito testing positive for the West Nile virus in the Barboursville area some people are taking extra precautions.

At first, the note Connie Sue Boggess found on her property was alarming.  It was a message from the Cabell Huntington Health Department asking if they could collect mosquitoes on her property and test them.

"He set up various traps for mosquitoes that had batteries and fans that would suck the mosquitoes up in them," Boggess explained.

The results hadn't come back as of this weekend, but Boggess isn't taking any chances with the horses on her property or the people who visit her stable. 

"We don't want buckets or feed bins or any of that kind of stuff catching water," she explained.

Boggess operates the River Cities Therapy and Recreation Center near Milton.  The group helps children and adults with disabilities through hippotherapy.  Boggess says they also have 4-H participants at the facility.

Mosquito bite prevention is frequently a topic of conversation.

"You don't wear cologne, hair spray or any of that stuff when you are going to volunteer because it attracts mosquitoes and other bugs," Boggess said.

All of the therapy horses on the property are vaccinated to prevent West Nile. 

Some activities have been canceled this year because of the large amount of rain and the risk presented by standing water.

"In the arena we haven't had lessons because of all of the rain, pretty much all season," Boggess said. "We had to put special mosquito repellent down in the wet spots."

They are also using natural oils and bugs that eat bugs to cut down on the number of mosquitoes.

"There are national standards of what we are supposed to do and we have had veterinarians come out and make sure that everything is covered from A to Z," Boggess said.

If you have concerns about the mosquitoes in your community you can contact your local health department.