Experts say long winter leads to more mosquitoes in the Berkshir - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Experts say long winter leads to more mosquitoes in the Berkshires

Posted: Updated: Jun 03, 2014 03:14 PM

PITTSFIELD, Mass. - A mosquito spraying schedule is expected to be released by the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project after testing is completed.

Experts in Pittsfield say that the long winter aided to a spur of mosquitoes because melting snow in April meant a widening of the breeding pool.

This week kicks off spraying season in the Berkshire, where communities get sprayed with a safe, but effective repellent. The spray helps curb what could be trillions of mosquitoes lurking around, according to mosquito expert Chris Horton.

"The mosquito breed area were quite a lot bigger this year than they had been in the last couple of years and were starting to see emergence of mosquitoes that we weren't able to treat,” Horton said.

However, the spraying won’t happen right away. The Mosquito Control Project says it will only spray if mosquitoes they test in the beginning of the week come back positive for diseases such as West Nile.

“There is a concern about mosquito born viruses: West Nile virus and the eastern equine virus,” said Gina Armstrong with the Massachusetts Health Department.

Armstrong says nine mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile virus in 2013. The increase in the mosquito population means that there is more opportunity for infection this year, which is why the Pittsfield Mayor says they have been spraying for years.

“Unfortunately there have been strains of West Nile virus in the past and it's strictly a health issue,” said Mayor Dan Bainchi.

Horton says he agrees with the mayor.

"Serious diseases that have serious impacts on people and mosquitoes populations are known to carry them to humans,” said Horton.

Besides the spray, residents are reminded that they can wear long sleeves and utilize bug spray to help stay bite free.

Anyone with questions can call the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project (413) 447-9808.

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