EEE virus has central NC waiting for the end of mosquito season

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Mosquitoes are annoying, and Raleigh is at the end of the peak biting season, which is June through September.

North Carolina State University associate professor Dr. Mike Waldvogel said flooding — particularly all the rain brought with Hurricane Dorian — bolstered the mosquito population this year.

“We have had an abundance of mosquitoes, in particular following Dorian,” he said. “The areas that flooded in the eastern part of the state have more mosquitoes than we do probably here.”

Mosquito eggs are always out in the summer just waiting for rain. When rain occurs and the eggs get into the water, the eggs become larva. Then, within 24 hours or so, they become little black specks called tumblers that appear to tumble in the water.

Then, within a few days, the mosquito appears and starts flying, looking for food. The mosquito lifecycle is short; just a few weeks. However, in those few weeks, they can plague humans with bites and possible viruses.

A few years ago, Zika was in the news. Lately, the EEE virus has been making waves.

“During the period of 2009 to 20018, we only had seven cases across the entire state. So, it is here, it’s a very debilitating disease, and one that causes concern for everyone,” Waldvogel said. “But we are not seeing the extent of the problem they are having up north in Michigan and Massachusetts.”

Waldvogel added that the virus is especially fierce for young children and anyone over 50.

So, if you are going to spend time outside and don’t want to get bitten, prevention is the key. Waldvogel says, “use common sense, wear repellent; and if you’re doing a lot of heavy exercise, or heavy work, you might have to put that repellent on again.”

Thursday’s weather, which was cooler and dry, has given hope that mosquito season is coming to an end. Those pests, however, won’t be all gone until the first frost of the season, and that doesn’t usually occur until late October.

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