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Mosquito And Tick Season Is Here: What Can You Do? | News

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Mosquito And Tick Season Is Here: What Can You Do?

FAIRFAX, Va.  (WUSA) - Memorial Day weekend is not only the unofficial start of summer.  It's also the start of mosquito and tick season. Fortunately, the West Nile Virus is less of a threat to humans because the Culex mosquitos that carry it like birds better than humans. But plenty of other mosquitoes are on the hunt for humans.

The Fairfax County Health Department has just started up its annual trapping program to monitor the insects. Entomologist Dr. Jorge Arias says the West Nile Virus, which is spread by the Culex mosquito, is becoming less of a problem in humans because those insects prefer biting birds. But we humans are still prime targets for the pesky Asian Tiger mosquito.

Arias says that the mosquito problem in your backyard is probably due to the Asian Tiger. He says they love to lay their eggs in artificial, small containers that people may leave outside. They also love those corrugated, black, plastic drain pipes. He suggest tying a piece of string to a larvacide mosquito dunk and tossing it into every pipe on your property.

The county has 67 mosquito trap sites where workers hang at least two traps. The trap that hangs from a tree contains dry ice which gives off carbon dioxide to attract mosquitoes flying around looking for a meal. The other is placed on the ground. It contains stagnant water to attract mosquitoes looking for a place to lay eggs.

Ticks are a bigger concern because of the potentially-dangerous Lyme disease. Thankfully, our most common tick, the Lone Star Tick, does not carry the Lyme disease bacteria. Only the tiny Deer tick does, but how do you know the difference?

A Lone Star tick and a Deer tick side by side look identical to the naked eye. That's why, if one bites you, you should find out what it is.
"If you find a tick on your, remove it properly with forceps and place it in a zip lock bag. We'll identify it for you," said Arias.
If it is deer tick, you still might be OK... because only 20 percent of them carry the Lyme disease bacteria, but if you don't feel well, head to a doctor.

Here' another fact about Deer ticks and Lyme disease. The ticks don't get the Lyme disease bacteria from biting deer... they get it from biting white mice. And white mice like to eat acorns. So, if you have an oak tree, you might also have some deer ticks around.