Health officials are warning people of the risk of being exposed to mosquitos that could be carrying the West Nile virus this summer.

They say the hot weather that's following wet conditions in June is creating the perfect environment for the Culex tarsails mosquitos. Officials said even though there haven't been any cases of West Nile in the province this year, the insects have been caught in traps set up by Sakatoon park officials.

The City of Saskatoon is encouraging people to protect themselves before heading outside.

"While we all want to take advantage of the hot summer conditions, it is important to make sure we are protecting ourselves from mosquito bites," said Johnmark Opondo, Deputy Medical Health Officer of the Saskatoon Health Region.

"It only takes a couple of minutes to make sure you aren't at risk of getting West Nile virus from a Culex tarsalis mosquito bite."

Tips on staying protected in addition to insect repellent: 

  •   Wear light coloured clothing and long pants and long sleeved shirts
  •   Limit being outside between dusk and dawn, that's when mosquitoes are most likely to bite
  •   Use mosquito nets over play areas, strollers, and carriages for infants
  •   Use screened windows and doors to keep the insects from getting inside
  •   Keep grass cut short
  •   Get rid of all standing water where mosquitoes can lay their eggs, such as in tires, flower pots, paddling pools and bird baths

 Parents are also being advised not to use repellent with DEET on children under six months old.