Just in time to join the Ebola rage, the West Nile Virus has come to town.
In all the years I’ve lived in Los Angeles I’ve never seen as many dead crows as I have in the last few months. I’d say I see one or two a month now…which is a LOT. A neighbor reported that he had seen a few too and that the “thing” to do is call Vector Control because West Nile Virus has been found in other parts of Los Angeles County. It’s been here before of course – but I’ve never seen it in action on our birds.
I love the name Vector Control. It’s who you call (in Los Angeles anyway) if lets say you see a rather large bee hive on your front door. Or perhaps a dead animal like a crow. Knowing that birds carry all kinds of nasty diseases, I was not eager to come in contact with any. It’s one thing if the cat next door goes bonkers and kills a pigeon, quite another if he is feverish. Just saying.
So of course two days ago I saw a dead crow…and I did nothing. It wasn’t on my property and being full of self-doubt I decided it was a Halloween decoration fallen from a tree. The next day I saw him again and decided to do something – so I called Vector Control.
Long story short, here is what you need to do: the bird in question can not be dead for more than 24 hours for them to pick it up and test it for West Nile. If you pick up Edgar (why not name him Edgar?) by the wing and see that his eyes are intact, then bag him. But, if Edgar’s eyes are missing, very decayed or falling out (as was my feathered friends) he’s for the trash pile.
I picked up Edgar (with gloved hands) while on the phone with VC and squealed at how sad and funny it was, his eye promptly fell out and I knew what to do. West Nile is here and it isn’t as bad as Ebola but it sure ain’t pretty. AND yes, it can infect your dog.
What’s ironic is that we are having the worst drought in a long time so one would think that our mosquitos moved north. But around here, people are still in denial about the whole water “thing”.
I said a fond adieu to Edgar; double bagged and into the trash can. I thought about his life and how smart he must have been…but went to the wrong watering hole.