Goodbye Rain, Hello Itch!

There is finally some sunshine in the forecast for this holiday weekend. So get outdoors and soak up some rays, but beware!

Two of nature’s biggest nuisances, mosquitoes and poison ivy will be out, stronger than ever and on the prowl.
Bugs and poisonous plants are common summertime pests, but after the 24-day deluge that has soaked the state with more than 6.5 inches of rain, things will only get worse.

As soon as the sun comes out (yes, eventually it will) there will be a great influx of mosquitoes due to puddles and standing water that provide ideal space for breeding little baby mosquitoes.

But these babies are anything but cute and can lead to deadly diseases like West Nile Virus.

“We have tested 5,700 mosquitoes with no sign of the disease," explained Dr. Ted Andreadis, "The Bug Guy" from the state Agricultural Center.  "There has been no West Nile activity thus far because the rain hasn’t stopped, but mosquitoes will be everywhere because the rain has been everywhere. So stay tuned.”

Here are a few ways to avoid the bite:

  • Stay indoors around dusk and dawn, the two most popular feeding times.
  • Get rid of any still water around the house to limit breeding.
  • Use effective repellent like DEET when outdoors.
  • Wear protective clothing, including long sleeves and pants.

Mother Nature's other gift to us is poison ivy. It's actually one of the most common allergies in the country, affecting about half the population, and that number has the potential to increase this summer. With more water come more weeds and unwanted vegetation.

Over the past few weeks, there probably aren’t many families who have kept up with the gardening. After all, no one is thinking about weed-wacking during a downpour. As a result, many of these pests have been left uncontrolled for an extensive period of time, allowing them to spread like wildfire. 

Before you take that hike up Talcott Mountain or pitch your tent, be sure you know your facts about the plant.

Poison Ivy leaves are green with a reddish tint, and the plants are about 2 feet high. They are commonly found roadside or coating tree trunks. If you’re exposed to the plant oils, it will start as small, itchy blisters. A typical rash goes away by itself within one to three weeks. In the meantime, slather on that calamine lotion!

A new kind of waterworks is in the making for the coming weeks. No rain, but plenty of tears due to that itch!

So be careful and follow these steps to avoid summer's annoyances at your Fourth of July celebrations.

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