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Drought kept mosquito numbers down, but rain provides opportunity


LA CROSSE (WXOW) - The mosquito population is down this year due to lack of rainfall over the last two weeks.

Rainfall and bodies of water provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Over the last two weeks, much of Wisconsin experienced a drought limiting these opportunities.

The La Crosse County's Mosquito Control Program started a month ago. This program contracts a service to identify larger breeding locations to establish strategies to control the populations.

Residential areas can provide breeding opportunities for mosquitoes. Gutters, birdbaths, and pet dishes are examples of locations that can have enough water to support a mosquito breeding location.

"We just ask people to go outside, look for those area, dump them over, keep them dumped over if they're not using them," said Carol Drury, Environment Health and Laboratory Manager for the La Crosse County Health Department.

Due to the smaller mosquito population, La Crosse County has had zero confirmed cases of the West Nile Virus. The virus transmits through an infected mosquito's bite.

To protect against mosquito bites, wearing layers during the peak hours of mosquito activities help according to health authorities. The peak hours occur at dawn and dusk. A repellent is a good tool for protection as well. Drury recommends a spray with 20-30% DEET or a repellent with 30-40% lemon oil and eucalyptus.

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