West Nile Virus Still a Threat to Horses Despite Drought

Dan Equine, Livestock, This Land of Ours

Many parts of the nation are in drought, but that doesn’t mean the end of mosquitos. Find out what that means for your horses, in today’s This Land of Ours.


While much of the western U.S. endures widespread drought, people may think mosquito season won’t be as intense. However, just because there’s no rain doesn’t mean there are no mosquitoes. “Some of the most significant West Nile outbreaks have happened without significant rainfall,” says Dr. Justin Talley, Head of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Oklahoma State University. “Just because you don’t see water doesn’t mean there are no breeding areas around.” He shared four tips for protecting horses from West Nile Virus. The first is to vaccinate your horses. Number two is hanging high-powered livestock fans. Third, get rid of as much standing water as possible and clean the horses’ water sources once a week. The last is to minimize a horse’s exposure during mosquito feeding times at dusk and dawn. The disease can attack and inflame a horse’s nervous system and is spread by mosquitoes after feeding on infected birds and rodents.

This story was provided by the NAFB.

Listen to Sabrina Halvorson’s This Land of Ours program here.

West Nile Virus Still a Threat to Horses Despite Drought

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.