Recent weather is "perfect storm" for mosquitoes

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The first signs of West Nile Virus have been confirmed in Indiana, which is an early start to the sometimes deadly disease. Mosquitoes in Adams County tested positive for the disease. Last year, West Nile was found in mosquitoes in every county except Crawford.

Statistics also shows a huge increase in West Nile cases. In Indiana, there were only 9 cases in 2011, but 77 in 2012. In Michigan, there were 34 cases in 2011, and 202 in 2012.

To protect yourself and your family, the Mosquito Squad of Southwest Michigan is offering strategies for mosquito control, just in time for National Mosquito Control Awareness Week. According to the Mosquito Squad,

1. TIP- reduce standing water to eliminate mosquito threats. Think of areas like children's sandboxes where wagons or plastic toys are often stored. Also notice places like under and around downspouts, in plant saucers and dog bowls.

2. TOSS- remove excess grass, leaves, firewood and clippings from yards. Lawn debris can create places for water to accumulate.

3. TURN- turn over larger yard items that could hold water.

4. TARPS- remove tarps from stretched over firewood piles, boats or sports equipment and grills to shake out excess water. Shake out immediately following a rain storm.

5. TREAT- utilize a mosquito elimination barrier treatment around the home and yard. Using a barrier treatment at home reduces the need for using DEET.

For more information on the 5 T's or to contact the Mosquito Squad of Southwest Michigan, click here for their website.

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