We monitor mosquito breeding areas during the summer to look for mosquitoes that carry diseases that can make people sick.
Why Are We Concerned About Mosquitoes?
- Mosquitoes can spread diseases like West Nile Virus.
- The main mosquito species we monitor for is the Culex mosquito. This is because it can cause West Nile Virus infection in humans.
What We Do To Reduce Numbers of Mosquitoes that Cause Disease
- From about late May through early September, we monitor mosquito breeding areas to look for mosquitoes that carry diseases that can make people sick.
- We also trap adult mosquitoes to measure how many are in an area. Some of these mosquitoes are also tested for West Nile Virus.
- If we find high numbers of the species that can spread West Nile Virus, we treat water on public lands to reduce the number of mosquitoes.
- We do mosquito monitoring and control 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 fix screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Use EPA-registered insect repellents and follow instructions carefully.
- Apply permethrin to your clothes and gear or buy items treated with permethrin.
Get rid of Areas Where Mosquitoes Breed
- Mosquitoes lay eggs in or near water. Once a week, dump water out of flower pots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, 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. It gives information about which birds to report.
Most dead birds do not need to be reported or collected, and can be thrown away. 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 2021 Report
- Mosquitoes and Disease in Wisconsin, UW-Madison Medical Entomology Lab (MEL)