Heavy rains have raised worries about more than flooding.The rains left large and small pools of water standing around the state sending out an open invitation for mosquitoes to start breeding. State Epidemiologist Patricia Quinlisk confirms there’s an increase in mosquitoes — but she says you shouldn’t be overly worried as these mosquitoes are “nuisance” mosquitoes that don’t carry disease. Quinlisk says the sometimes fatal West Nile virus that’s became prominent the last couple of years is what worries people the most. She says however, West Nile hasn’t even been detected in the state yet. She says the mosquitoes don’t carry West Nile, they get it from birds. No birds have been discovered with the disease yet, so the mosquitoes don’t have it. Quinlisk says it will eventually hit the state.She says we typically see it in August and September. Quinlisk says she can’t totally rule out West Nile being detected earlier, so you should take the standard steps to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.She says make sure your screens are in good shape, dump out any standing water, change the water in birdbaths and pet bowls every couple of days. Quinlisk says you should wear a repellent with the chemical “DEET” to keep the pests away. Quinlisk says the concentration of the “DEET” in the repellent will tell you how long it will last, not how well it fights the bugs. So, a higher concentration will last longer before it has to be reapplied to your skin.
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