Wet spring brings earlier mosquito season

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Standing water in central Indiana has city workers already fighting mosquitoes.

Another rainy forecast this week only builds the threat in our backyards.

"Not looking forward to it, but don't know what's going to happen," said one homeowner.

Retired Purdue professor Dr. Ralph Williams says the mosquitoes are coming early, thanks to a very wet spring. Some areas have seen near-record rainfalls this year.

Williams says mosquito season is "much farther along" this year.

The Marion County Health Department and other agencies are already treating some standing water where they've found mosquito larvae.

We're lucky in one way - the windy, cooler nights help keep the population down. Also, it continues to rain, which flushes out older standing water.

But once it starts to get dry, watch out.

The mosquitoes appearing early now are not the kind that typically carry diseases like West Nile that affect humans.

But watch your pets. These early mosquitoes do carry heartworm disease.

"Pet owners need to see the vet to get pets preventive treatment," said Williams.

You should also prepare to protect yourself: Wear long sleeves outside, apply repellent with DEET. If you use a fogger, follow instructions carefully. Change out water in birdbaths regularly and sweep away puddles of standing water.

Also, don't forget rain gutters, making sure water isn't sitting in them.