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Time to watch out for mosquito-borne diseases

It’s time to watch out for those mosquitoes, and the diseases they may bring.

Sarah MacGregor, the owner of Dragon Mosquito Control in Stratham, told the Eagle Tribune if there’s above average or heavy rainfall, there’s a chance of seeing a fair amount of mosquitoes carrying Eastern equine encephalitis. If it’s hot and dry, then areas prone to the West Nile virus will maintain their populations.

Mosquito hatching actually has gotten off to a late start, due to a blast of mid-April snow, said Michael Morrison of Municipal Pest Management Services in Kittery, Maine.

“The snow went into a lot of the pools, red maple swamps and stagnant sites,” Morrison said. “It killed and suffocated the larvae. We were very lucky.”

The state Department of Health and Human Services shows a drop in West Nile detection last year. But there was a rise in EEE, from nine pools testing positive in 2012 to 24 last year.

West Nile produces mild flu-like symptoms. Symptoms for EEE may include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck and sore throat, leading to seizures and coma.

The mosquito-control businesses said the mosquito populations are lasting later into the year, making disease management more challenging.

“It used to be that mosquitoes weren’t much of a topic past Labor Day,” MacGregor said. “Now, we continue dealing with mosquitoes, sometimes, past Halloween.”

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