Mosquito invasion hits Northeast Wisconsin

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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - It seems like you can't go anywhere without swatting at mosquitoes.

The boom in population has even led to some recreational sporting events being canceled halfway through a game, and at least one Appleton elementary school said it was postponing walking field trips.

They're Eastern Floodwater Mosquitoes, named after their origin.

According to UW-Oshkosh entomologist Rob Mitchell, "A couple of weeks ago we had the big rains come through, and it was an unusual amount of rain, and so when you get an unusual amount of rain, you fill up a lot of places with water that don't normally have it. That water stagnates, and then you have mosquitoes."

The recent dry and warm weather created the perfect conditions for the mosquitoes to breed, leading to the recent boom in population.

Mitchell adds, "There's more mosquitoes around right now than there normally are."

Attracted to carbon dioxide -- so basically anything that breathes -- the mosquitoes, in all of their abundance, aren't even being deterred by bug spray.

"There's just so many of them they blunder into you anyway, even though you're trying to confuse them with the Deet, so even wearing bug spray you can still get bitten, and the more mosquitoes that are around the more likely that is going to be," says Mitchell.

Once bitten, everyone reacts differently. While medical professionals preach prevention, they say the usual remedies work after a bite to relieve some of the pain.

"Maybe ice it, prevent some of the swelling. You can take Tylenol, ibruprofen if they're quite painful or you have quite a few of them, or some over-the-counter lotions that have some of these soothing effects," adds ThedaCare physician Dr. Paul Steven.

As for when the flying hypodermic needles will go away, experts say once temperatures drop below 50 degrees, the mosquitoes will start to go into their winter hibernation, and then after a good freeze they will be gone for the season.

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