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June Showers Breed Mosquito Power in NH

July 20, 2009

Concord, NH – June's heavy rains in New Hampshire gave mosquitoes a fertile ground in which to breed, and experts are predicting a rough mosquito season. Mosquitoes develop in water, and so the standing water in your yard, from puddles to bird baths to kiddie pools, makes greats incubators. David Mizejewski, National Wildlife Federation naturalist, says that if you factor in (believe it or not) the recession as well, this summer will be a mean season for mosquitoes.

"When you couple the conditions that mosquitoes thrive in with the fact that many municipalities are cutting back on their mosquito control efforts - we are predicting this summer to be a bad one."

Mizejewski says products to protect yourself from mosquitoes run the gamut, from those containing the controversial chemical DEET, to herbal remedies that work differently, but effectively.

"We leave a trail of water vapor and carbon dioxide through our skin and out of our breath; that's what mosquitoes are following, and a lot of these herbal products will actually mask that and keep the mosquitoes from being able to find you."

Mosquito bites can be painful, but Mizejewski says rarely do they produce serious illness. He says trying to "nuke" each and every insect on your property is probably not the best course of action.

"The negative consequences for us of spreading chemicals out in the environment outweigh the risk that you have of getting sick from a mosquito bite."

Mizejewski says dumping any standing water in your yard is a first line of defense. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, along with other city, state and federal agencies, has developed a plan to assess the presence of West Nile Virus and Triple-E (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) and to find and control the kinds of mosquitoes known to carry those viruses. No cases have been reported so far this season.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - NH