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Avoiding Bites at Rhythm & Booms

City of Madison Parks Division and Public Health Madison and Dane County

Madison WI - June 26, 2008 - Over 250,000 people are expected to attend this year's Rhythm and Booms celebration in Warner Park.  Due to the recent excessive rains and flooding, the mosquito population has spiked to extremely high levels.  Monitoring efforts by Public Health Madison and Dane County and the University of Wisconsin Medical Entomology Department show a dramatic increase in mosquito populations. 

Mosquito monitoring traps were catching less than 50 mosquitoes per trap per night before this spike.  The monitoring done this past Monday and Tuesday(June 24th- 25th) yielded 3,750 mosquitoes per trap. After last fall's flooding, the traps were averaging about 200 mosquitoes per trap per night.  

These monitoring efforts also revealed that most of these mosquitoes are classified as floodwater mosquitoes (Aedes vexans).  While this type of mosquito does bite humans, the good news is that it is not generally considered a carrier of West Nile Virus (WNV).  

The numbers of the type of mosquito that is more likely to carry WNV (Culex spp.),are small.  Even though the risk of getting bitten by one of these mosquitoes is small, people should take the standard precautions to prevent mosquito bites.  These precautions will not only lower the small risk of WNV, but they will also help improve the quality of time during all 4th of July celebrations. 

Outdoor spraying to control adult mosquitoes was discontinued many years ago in Madison because the concerns about pesticide exposure outweigh the short term benefits of spraying. So it is up to you to take precautions to protect yourself by using repellants and protective clothing.

Please see the release at the following link for detailed tips on mosquito management.

The City of Madison and the organizers of Rhythm and Booms want everyone to enjoy this celebration but we strongly recommend that you come prepared for the mosquitoes as well as for wet soft ground at Warner Park.

For a list of what to bring and what to leave at home for Rhythm and Booms, go to



  • John Hausbeck, (608) 243-0331
  • Laura Whitmore, Parks, (608) 266-5949