Mosquitoes have returned to central Indiana early

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- It's only February, but the mosquitoes are here, nearly three months earlier than the time they usually start making an appearance. Experts say the mild winter weather is likely to blame.

"Mosquitoes are pretty well adapted to any kind of climate, conditions that are thrown their way," explained Matt Sinsko, a coordinator with the Marion County Health Department Mosquito Control.

Sinsko explained mosquitoes generally spend the winter months in egg form, but some females might come out from their hibernation, since the weather is warm.

"They may come out of the sewers on a nice day like today, potentially take a blood meal from you, me, your dog, whoever, and start that whole cycle of starting a new generation of mosquitoes," Sinsko said.

These pesky bugs making you itch might not be here to stay, though. The average life-span of a mosquito is about one month, meaning there's a chance Mother Nature could take its course if colder weather comes back.

"You’re probably not going to see huge numbers of them and they’re probably going to be a little lethargic, too so the warmer temperatures are, the more active an insect is going to be," he said.

Mosquito Control generally begins its prevention and extermination around Memorial Day. Sinsko said they might look into adjusting that date depending on what the weather is like for the rest of the winter. He also ensured that just because mosquitoes are coming out earlier, it doesn't necessarily mean there will be a higher population or they will be stronger than past years.

"Certain weather conditions will really dictate what’s going to happen with not only the mosquito population, but diseases, for example," he said.

Here are some important things you can do right now:

  • Wear bug spray if you see mosquitoes in your yard
  • When using a citronella candle, put it on the ground and at your feet, instead of on a table. That way, the smoke will rise from the ground, keeping the mosquitoes away from your feet.
  • Use a fan on your porch or deck. Mosquitoes can't fly through high winds.
  • Clear your yard of any standing water in buckets or tires and be sure to clean your gutters to remove any possibility of mosquitoes breeding in your backyard.

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