State health officials are offering some advice to help take a bite out of mosquito season.
Flood waters earlier this month have lead to a large population of mosquitoes in many parts of the state. DHFS epidemiologist Diep Johnson says the good news is the risk of catching anything right now is very low, since most of the mosquitoes are from the floodwaters and few carry any diseases. That could change over time though, as flood waters becomes more polluted and larvae hatch in those.
Johnson says you'll want to protect yourself, due to the annoying nature of the insects biting. She says the best way to avoid getting bit is to stay inside during early morning and evening hours, when the insects are most active. If you must be outside, wear repellent containing DEET and cover your skin. A UW research team has also evaluated many products and natural remedies that are often recommended this time of year.
You can also help to limit the growth of the mosquito population by getting rid of standing water. Emptying standing water in rain buckets, flower pots and gutters can greatly reduce the population as time goes by. Johnson says mosquitoes can breed in just a pint of water, so you shouldn't overlook any area.