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Southwest Michigan health officials see surge in mosquito populations

Health departments tracking vector-born illnesses, urge precautions

  • Updated
  • 4 min to read

STEVENSVILLE — The world has learned a lot about taking precautions over the last 16 months, and now is no time to stop with the return of mosquito season.

Area public health officials say they’re seeing rises in the number of the blood-sucking insects over the last few weeks and are concerned about the vector-borne illnesses some of them carry.

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Seth Tippin uses a microscope to inspect a recently collected mosquito.

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Seth Tippin sets up mosquito traps at locations throughout Berrien County. “I am seeing a population rise within the Aedes population, which is the mosquito that is known to carry Zika virus,” Tippin said.

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Bodies of stagnant water are often breeding grounds for mosquitos. “Mosquitoes can breed in as little of water as found in a bottle cap, so it is a good idea, after the heavy rains we’ve had, to go around and just tip out that water,” said Gillian Conrad, communications manager for the Berrien County Health Department.

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Seth Tippin, with the Berrien County Health Department, returns to his car after collecting a mosquito trap Wednesday at Grand Mere State Park.

Contact: anewman@TheHP.com, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman