GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — The state’s first human case of the West Nile virus was recently discovered in northeast Wisconsin, and that has the state health department warning people to protect against mosquitoes – especially with recent heavy rains.
Michael Draney, a Professor of Biology and Chair of Natural and Applied Sciences at UW – Green Bay says the water left behind creates the perfect environment for baby mosquitoes.
“Mosquitoes need water, especially fish-less water: so puddles and flowerpots filled up and so on; in order to reproduce,” Draney said. “Their babies live in the water.”
According to Draney, mosquitoes take about a month to mature, so any currently growing in standing water likely won’t make an appearance until mid-October.
That’s unless Mother Nature decides to cool things off.
“If it gets to about 25 degrees, that seems to be cold enough to kill most of the adult mosquitoes and so that will pretty much end the mosquito season,” Draney said. “A small freeze, you know, frost on the pumpkin, just getting down to freezing, most of the mosquitoes will be able to survive that.”
Until temperatures drop low enough to kill off the insects, mosquitoes will likely continue to thrive into the fall.
“We do have more mosquitoes than normal,” Draney said, “because of the wet fall, a lot of times fall is our driest period, and so oftentimes a really dry August will really knock the mosquitoes down. So we haven’t had that.”
Draney added that to help reduce the mosquito population, people can try to eliminate standing water from their yards.