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More rain means more mosquitoes; tips to protect yourself

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INDIANAPOLIS (July 6, 2015) – More expected rain this week means one thing: more mosquitoes.

They’ve invaded central Indiana and won’t be leaving anytime soon.

At the Marion County Health Department Mosquito Control, the buzz has been non-stop.

“I’m just going through and identifying all the species,” Matt Sinsko said, a biologist. “A lot of flood water mosquitoes. A lot of flood water mosquitoes. We are running very high.”

The seemingly never-ending rain last month has produced a seemingly never-ending supply of mosquitoes. Experts say they thrive in flood or standing waters, quickly reproduce, hatch and attack Hoosiers in as little as a week.

“It’s more of a nuisance mosquito,” Andy Grau said, crew chief with Mosquito Control. “The kind that will not stop biting you, the ones you go outside and got four or five bites.”

Marion County Mosquito Control monitors dozens of traps setup throughout the county to track the mosquito population.

Nationwide this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the West Nile virus has been found in mosquitoes in more than a dozen states including Indiana.

Indiana health officials confirm the virus has been found in mosquitoes in Shelby, Wabash and Wells counties.

“There’s about 40 different species in Marion County,” Sinsko said.

But the booming “flood water mosquito” is not a carrier of the West Nile virus.

In fact experts say the number of West Nile mosquitoes, so far this year, are down.

“It can creep up in a hurry if the weather changes dramatically,” Grau said. “Typically we won’t see it until toward the end of the summer.”

Grau said keeping standing water out of your yard can be a significant help. He suggests frequently changing bird baths and removing standing water from any buckets and rain gutters.

"If it’s dusk, that’s when they’re going to be the most active when the sun starts to go down," Grau said.  "Starts getting a little bit cooler outside, the adults really like to come out and pester us during those hours."

The health department also will assist residents with small ornamental ponds by providing residents with “mosquito fish” that reduce the mosquito population.

You can call Marion County Mosquito Control at (317) 221-7440.

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