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Mosquito population lower than expected

This mosquito population is higher than last year’s but still lower than the five-year average.

Alicia Lepp is an epidemiologist with the North Dakota Department of Health. She said the department has noticed a significant increase in mosquito populations since the beginning of summer.

Lepp said the state is noticing lower numbers of culex tarsalis mosquito, or the mosquito that carries West Nile Disease.

“South Dakota reported their first West Nile Virus case and Minnesota has seen an increase in their culex tarsalis, so we’re definitely seeing West Nile Virus activity in our neighboring states,” Lepp said. “It’s important for North Dakota residents to be mindful of West Nile Virus in the summer, especially this Fourth of July weekend when people are going to be outdoors.”

Lepp said people should wear EPA approved bug spray, long sleeves, and pants to avoid the mosquitoes. She also recommends not going outdoors from dusk to dawn.

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