We monitor mosquito breeding areas during the summer mosquito breeding season to look for mosquitoes that carry diseases that can make people sick.
Why Are We Concerned About Mosquitoes?
- Mosquitoes can transmit diseases like West Nile Virus.
- The primary targeted mosquito species of this annual surveillance is the Culex mosquito species since it can cause West Nile Virus infection in humans. The Culex species of mosquito is present in Dane County.
- The Zika Virus is carried by the Aedes species of mosquito. Aedes albopictus larvae was found in small numbers in Dane County in the summer of 2017. It does not mean the Zika virus is here, and there is no evidence of mosquito transmitted Zika virus in Dane County. PHMDC and the UW Medical Entomology Lab continue to monitor for its presence.
- There is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can be spread by mosquito bites.
What Does Public Health Do To Reduce Numbers of Disease-Causing Mosquitoes?
- During mosquito season in Dane County, approximately late May through September, we monitor mosquito breeding areas to look for mosquitoes that carry diseases that can make people sick.
- Public Health also traps adult mosquitoes to measure population levels. Some of these mosquitoes are also tested for West Nile Virus.
- If high numbers of mosquitoes are found that are known to carry West Nile Virus, water is treated on public lands to reduce the mosquito population.
- Mosquito monitoring and control is done in partnership with Cities of Madison, Middleton, Monona and Sun Prairie; Town of Madison; and Villages of Maple Bluff and Shorewood Hills; and the University of Wisconsin.
What Can You Do to Prevent Mosquito Bites and Disease?
Prevent Mosquito Bites
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants from dusk through dawn. That's when many mosquitoes are most active.
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Use EPA-registered insect repellents, following product instructions.
- Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items.
Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Areas
- Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out containers that hold water, such as flower pots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, birdbaths, rain barrels, and trash cans.
Dead Bird Reporting
West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes get infected with West Nile virus by feeding on infected birds. Crows and blue jays are known to get sick and die from West Nile virus.
The WI Department of Health Services is no longer testing crows and blue jays for West Nile virus and the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline is now closed. If you find a sick or dead bird please visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Health Program website for information about which species of birds should be reported to them for wildlife health-related investigations.
Most individual dead birds do not need to be reported or collected, and can be discarded. To safely dispose of a dead bird, use gloves or an inverted plastic bag to place the carcass in a garbage bag, which can then be placed in the regular trash. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Dead birds should not be handled with bare hands.
- Mosquito Larvae Monitoring and Control 2019 Report
- Mosquitoes and Disease in Wisconsin, UW-Madison Medical Entomology Lab (MEL)