Surging Vt. mosquito population raises concerns - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Surging Vt. mosquito population raises concerns

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BRANDON, Vt. -

"Really bad, really bad. You go outside and they swarm around you," said Barbara Quenneville of Brandon.

Quenneville says the mosquitoes are always a problem in the area, but this summer is the worst yet.

"Frustrating, very frustrating," she said. "And I'm one that doesn't have a lot of patience for things like this, I really don't. And a friend that lived up at the lake the other day said you won't even be able to get out of your car the mosquitoes are so bad."

And granddaughter Sierra Quenneville says she has serious concerns about keeping her infant safe with the increased mosquito population, especially given their location. Quenneville says only a small wooded area separates their house from where one of two Eastern equine encephalitis deaths occurred last year.

"I can't put bug spray on him; it's not good for their skin," Sierra Quenneville said. "So, when we go out, I try to put like sensitive stuff on him, but it doesn't work and they still get to him. And it's scary-- it's terrifying. When you see people dying from EEE and it's been detected like five minutes down the road from you-- it doesn't take long for them to get here."

Vermont Health Department officials say Mother Nature is a huge factor. Mosquitoes tend to lay their nests in pools of water, so the more rain and pools of water, the better chances larvae have at becoming adults.

"I think the hot wet weather probably is the reason why we have a lot more mosquitoes. We had a hot dry summer last year, and that kept the mosquitoes down quite a bit in 2012. But this wet, wet start to the season has meant we had a lot of mosquitoes," said Erica Berl of the Vermont Health Department.

The Health Department says they are doing what they can for normal types of control and only intervene during an outbreak of disease. West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes trapped in Leicester, but isn't classified for state intervention.

The BLSG Insect Control District sprays Brandon and neighboring towns. The Quennevilles say their property has only been sprayed once, and they are feeling overwhelmed with what else to do.

"We are doing everything here we can with the fogger and the mosquito spray, but that's about all we can do," Barbara Quenneville said.

A buggy summer for all that is raising serious concerns for many.

To help prevent mosquito bites, officials recommend using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and avoiding outside activity at dusk and dawn.

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