NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- The dry summer is keeping the overall mosquito population down, but the mosquito that carries West Nile Virus is alive and well.
Beaver Pond in New Haven is one of the sites where field collector Jerry Piscitelli monitors culex pipiens, the mosquitos known for carrying West Nile Virus.
"We're headed over to the light trap here," he said. "This trap uses a combination of CO2 and a light to attract the mosquitoes."
Close by is the gravid trap where stinky swamp water attracts the pesky "skeeters."
The dry hot weather is keeping the total mosquito population down, but back at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station laboratory, on closer inspection, the number of culex pipiens is actually up.
Chief Medical Entomologist Dr. Theodore Andreadis says, "these are coming out of our storm drains, our catch basins, predominately in our suburban and urban sites."
The current weather condition is ideal.
"I'm fully expecting that in the coming weeks, maybe as soon as next week, we're going to see the start of the buildup of the virus."
The virus has already been detected in Stamford. West Nile Virus tends to impact urban populated areas in the state.
Dr. Andreadis adds, "we're also beginning to get a few calls on dead crows. We're not testing birds this year, but I strongly suspect because they are crows and they are so susceptible to the virus that they are likely infected with the West Nile Virus."
That's why he strongly advises to take precautions against these mosquitos, especially at home.
"Eliminate standing bodies of water, bird baths, buckets and any ornamental pools, rain barrels, empty them out at least in a weekly basis."
Last year, nine human cases of West Nile were reported.
The early morning and evening hours are when the risk of being bitten by a mosquito is greatest. Peak season for West Nile is August.
Symptoms include skin rash, fever, and headache. People with a weakened immune system are especially vulnerable.
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