Mosquitoes approaching highest levels since 2011 - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Mosquitoes approaching highest levels since 2011


MADISON (WKOW) -- If you thought you got bit by a lot of mosquitoes over the 4th of July holiday weekend, just imagine having Brittney LaTour's job.

"Today I was over on the east side of Madison just off Portage Road and there was just like hundreds of them just swarming me and I was just like, 'get out of here!,'" said LaTour, a Public Health-Madison & Dane County employee who collects mosquito larva for West Nile Virus testing.

If she finds the breeds that carry the virus, she obliterates them.

"When we do treat, we just use a blower and it just blows the larva site out into the water," said LaTour.

But the City of Madison does not do anything to stop the spread of other breeds that don't carry West Nile.  And those are the nuisance breeds that did a lot of damage over the weekend.

"The genus Aedes Vexans is the big stinker," said Phil Pellitteri, a UW entomologist who specializes in mosquitoes.

Pellitteri says that breed is just getting warmed up, for the first time since 2011.

"Normal mosquitoes are not fun in this state," said Pellitteri.  "I mean, after you get a year like last year, its very dry, they're unusually low, people kind of forget what normal mosquitoes are like.  So, now its gonna be a problem for awhile, because usually when you get a hatch its a 3 to 4 week process."

That means things should die down again after July.

"But, if we get another weather front that comes through and gives us a couple, three inches at one time, you start another clock," said Pellitteri.

The clock may be ticking, but at least there should be no reason to sound the West Nile alarm.

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