Mosquitoes back for another bite

WEYBRIDGE — Some warm, wet fall weather has contributed to a late-season surge of pesky mosquitoes that has been harassing people in portions of Addison County.
Tom Baskett, chairman of the Lemon Fair Insect Control District (LFICD), confirmed the surge but said his district was unable to treat it because of the unavailability of state funds. The LFICD conducts drops of pesticides that kill mosquito larvae in the member towns of Bridport, Cornwall and Weybridge.
Baskett said Tropical Storm Irene undoubtedly created some prime mosquito hatching weather.
“But Irene hit at a point where the state thinks the mosquito season has ended,” Baskett said.
The state helps fund mosquito larvicide programs through revenues generated by motorboat registration fees and special appropriations. But Baskett said he was recently told by state authorities that larvicide money is no longer available this year.
That said, LFICD officials are hoping that cooler temperatures forecast for this week will knock down the pesky insects.
In a related matter, the Vermont Department of Health reported a dead bird found in Middlebury on Sept. 16 tested positive for West Nile Virus. Everyone, particularly those working outside, should take all necessary precautions and protect themselves from mosquitoes, which are responsible for the spread of this disease, until the end of the current mosquito season.
The department of health in August said mosquitoes caught in traps in Cornwall and Brandon tested positive for West Nile virus. Also, a farm laborer in the town of Addison last month was infected with the mosquito-borne illness.
More than a dozen emus on a Brandon farm died late last month after being infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis, another mosquito-borne illness. It was the first confirmed death from the disease in Vermont.

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