Connecticut itching for mosquito testing results

A mosquito is sorted according to species and gender before testing. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Mosquito season is here. You may have already experienced that if you’ve been outside at dusk and dawn. That’s why state researchers began monitoring the mosquito population for diseases earlier this week.

“We’re out trapping mosquitoes at some 91 locations across the state,” according to Dr. Phil Armstrong of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven.

All the wet weather we’ve had recently is going to mean standing water. Standing water is the breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes spread the West Nile Virus. That’s why the state has already begun its mosquito trapping and testing program. They started just this week, and they’ll continue all summer. They started the testing program back in the late ’90s, when the West Nile virus was new and prompted widespread spraying. Crows were dropping dead by the dozens. Human deaths, though, have been very rare, and usually only among the elderly.

“We do see human cases here in Connecticut every year, but the risk is manageable,” Dr. Armstrong said.

Manageable if you take some steps to avoid mosquitoes, such as:
– Wear long sleeves and long pants.
– Avoid going outside and dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
– Wear insect repellent.

Plus, if there’s standing water around your property, dump it out, because that’s wear mosquito larvae grow. Experts start trapping this week because this is when the mosquito population starts growing to reach its peak in July. Then, in August and September, we see peak West Nile rates in humans. Trapping and testing mosquitoes shows us where the virus is, so we can stay away. We now know a lot about West Nile. The one mystery – why is it no longer killing crows? They may have developed an immunity, scientists aren’t sure.

The traps went out this week. They’ll have some mosquitoes to test next week, and then they’ll publish the first results. Once the results are made public, you can track where you’re more likely to get West Nile at

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