SALINA, Kan. (AP) — A wet summer is spawning an outbreak of mosquitoes across Kansas.
Mosquitoes are again bringing with them diseases, viruses and itching.
Last year, 91 cases of West Nile virus were reported in Kansas, seven of which were fatal. So far this year there have been no reported cases of West Nile in Kansas.
Aimee Rosenow, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, suggested three things people can do to minimize harm from mosquitoes.
“We really advocate the message of dress, drain, and DEET,” Rosenow said. “Whenever possible, try to wear loose-fitted clothing with long sleeves and long pants. Make sure to drain any standing water. Finally, protect yourself with an insect repellent that contains at least 23 percent DEET.”
KDHE tests mosquitoes found in Sedgwick County for viruses, including West Nile and the new virus Chikungunya which can cause fever, joint and muscle pain in people it infects.
Don Sauber, city of Salina landscape supervisor, told the newspaper that he and his crew have seen quite a few mosquitoes around Salina this year.
“We always see a lot around dawn,” Sauber said. “I usually wear jeans and long sleeves, but I still get bit from time to time.”
Joe Conlon, entomologist and technical adviser for American Mosquito Control Association, suggested people clean out stagnant water where their larva can be found.
“These mosquitoes breed in man-made containers,” Conlon said. “I’ve seen eggs in beer cans on the ground. I’ve even seen some in a plastic bottle cap. They don’t need a lot of water to breed.”
Bird ponds and kiddie pools be cleaned out every five days since it generally takes 10 to 14 days for mosquito eggs to reach adulthood, he said.
Another option is using larvicides which target the mosquitoes without harming pets or children.