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Swarms of mosquitoes expected in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS – Public health officials and entomologists say Indiana’s recent heavy rains have set the stage for an explosion of mosquitoes in the weeks ahead.

Mosquito eggs can remain dormant for years in dry conditions such as last summer’s drought until they hatch in high waters like those unleashed by this month’s heavy rains.

Joe Conlon of the American Mosquito Control Association told The Indianapolis Star (http://indy.st/ZKlMs5) that “mosquitoes have been around at least 170 million years, and it’s not because they are stupid.”

Purdue University professor emeritus of entomology Ralph Williams said the worst year for mosquitoes was 1975 when an outbreak of St. Louis encephalitis infected more than 300 Indiana residents. He says bad mosquito seasons are nothing new in Indiana and there’s “nothing to panic about yet.”

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