The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station kicked off its yearly trapping and testing program on Tuesday.
Through the annual program, roughly 200,000 mosquitoes are trapped and tested each summer.
From June through October, researchers will monitor the types, numbers, and locations of the mosquitoes.
Thanks to all the rain we've had and now plenty of standing water, a wet spring can be the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, and researchers with the state are already seeing it.
On Monday, loaded up with three different mosquito traps and all her gear, Noelle Khalil walked into the Quinnipiac River State Park and found her spot off in the woods.
"This morning there were a whole bunch of mosquitoes inside. But yeah, we caught a lot last night with the weather,” she said. "For the light trap, I look for an area near water and a nice sturdy branch to hang it on."
Khalil is a junior at the University of Connecticut, and an intern with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. She’s part of the team that is setting traps at 91 different sites across the state.
"This trap we're going to fill with water and it attracts mosquitoes that are looking to lay eggs on still water,” she said.
Those mosquitoes will eventually be brought back to New Haven to be identified and tested.
"So we're really monitoring and looking at the risk of viral diseases like West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, these are two viruses that occur here in New England and are transmitted by mosquitoes,” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.
He is in charge of the trapping and testing and said they’ll also test for Zika, but stress that they don’t anticipate seeing that virus in Connecticut.
He said they do expect the number of mosquitoes to rise, typically peaking in late June and early July.
"They're very weather dependent, sensitive to weather conditions and typically when you have a lot of wet, rainy weather, that creates more standing water and habitat for them to breed and certainly it’s been pretty wet,” Armstrong said.
After putting the traps out this week, the state says it will have the first results, next week.
While they say it every year, they once again want to remind people to protect themselves.
If you're going to be outside, use bug spray, long sleeve shirts, along with clearing standing water from your property at least once a week.
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