Longer Mosquito Season Poses Threat to Humans and Horses 

Mosquitoes seem to be sticking around longer this year and it’s posing a prolonged threat to humans and horses.Meghan Hayward explains.”Folks may have noticed they’ve been swatting flies away a lot more this year. That’s because they’re sticking around longer and we found out why.””What we have this year is because of the wet May, June and July, we have kind of a delayed season or at least a season where mosquitoes are still out and in full force.”Jim Dill of the UMaine Cooperative Extension says homeowners should make sure there are no buckets with water in their backyard that can attract mosquitoes.”Usually it’s 60 degrees and above when they’re active. So evenings, it’s not so bad anymore.”Because mosquitoes are sticking around longer, they pose a threat to humans and horses because of the Triple E virus.”So what we have is the mosquito vector and it bites a bird. Which is infected and now it’s in the mosquito. And then this will go and bite a healthy bird and it gets this cycle between a few species of mosquitoes and birds. Then you get a different species coming in called bridge vector that has picked it up from biting a bird and then it takes after it’s bitten a bird and bites a human or horse.”Triple E is one-hundred percent fatal in horses and thirty percent fatal in humans.Dill says human cases that don’t result in death usually lead to neurological damage.”Anywhere from minor ticks to some serious complications due to the disease. So it’s a very insidious disease that we want to make sure no one gets.”There is a vaccine for horses, but not humans.Dill says the symptoms of Triple E are flu-like and it’s important to get checked out by a doctor if you’re not feeling well.Dill says they are taking precautions.”Dry ice goes in here, The CO2 then comes out the bottom, hits this and goes all around the sides and comes down. The mosquitoes come flying in. There’s a fan here and it sucks them down here.”Once the mosquitoes are collected, they’re shipped to a lab in Augusta where they’re tested for Triple E.Dill says mosquitoes shouldn’t be a threat for much longer because after two good frosts, they usually disappear.