Wet Weather Will Prolong Peak Mosquito Season

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With one of the wettest Julys on record, paired with lots of heat and humidity, it might just be the summer of the mosquito.

"The current weather pattern is really setting us up for a very exceptionally active mosquito season," Philip Armstrong, director of the Mosquito Monitoring Program at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, said.

The program has traps in 108 locations statewide that they check each week.

"The mosquitoes are attracted to that water source and then are sucked up by a fan into the collection net up above," Armstrong said.

Connecticut has begun its seasonal mosquito testing program throughout the state.

The mosquito experts will have a lot more subjects to test this year. All the standing water that's out there right now in rain gutters, flower pots, toys, tires and everything else is where mosquitoes multiply.

"Perfect storm, perfect conditions for increased mosquito numbers and biting activity," Armstrong said.

"They take about two weeks to reach adulthood. So, we expect those numbers to really increase substantially in the weeks ahead."

Right now is typically when we hit peak mosquito season, but the rain extended that peak, which means the situation will get worse. With a prolonged peak, we should expect more mosquito bites, which could mean a higher chance of mosquito-borne illness.

"We are detecting West Nile Virus, so we are detecting it. We had a couple positive mosquito samples; one in Milford, one in South Windsor and we'll continue to monitor the situation to see if the virus continues to build. We expect West Nile Virus to reoccur like we see it every summer. And, really the time of peak risk is in the weeks ahead. So, starting about now all the way into September is when most human cases occur," Armstrong said.

The experts say to check the screens on your house, dump that standing water in your yard and to wear repellent when you're outside. You also may want to wear long sleeves and long pants to minimize mosquito bites.

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