For Bergen County, New Jersey, the battle lines are being drawn in this summer's fight against mosquitoes. After last year's Hurricane Sandy and this month's Tropical Storm Andrea, the weather has set the stage for what could be a potentially dangerous year for mosquitoes.
"We're scrambling," Pete Rendine, chief inspector for the Bergen County Mosquito Control Program, told local affiliate CBS 2. "Right now, I've got crews out trying to larvicide areas; try to get them in the larval stage. But the white flag comes out when you get that much rain; not going [to] get to all the areas."
With more mosquitoes comes a greater risk for the West Nile virus, but the likelihood of a viral outbreak this summer is not that clear yet.
"Primarily, when we're talking West Nile we're talking Culex mosquitoes," said Warren Staudinger, assistant chief inspector. "They're bird biting mosquitoes."
The West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes that had bitten infected birds. There is a lot of anxiety over the possibility as this is the first post-Sandy mosquito season. The superstorm ripped up trees and drenched the ground with water, leaving behind the perfect places for mosquitoes to breed. But while these may sound like the ideal conditions for mosquitoes on paper, it may not result in more West Nile in reality.
"You just don't know," Rendine added. "Like, in some dry years, we've had so much West Nile. In some wet years, we haven't had much West Nile."
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