By Sylvia Carignan
The aftermath of a strong thunderstorm usually means power outages, fallen trees and extensive cleanup. But there’s another less visible consequence that may be breeding in your back yard.
The water that collects in birdbaths, gutters, and potted plant trays is perfect for mosquitoes to breed. And after strong storms, mosquito populations multiply.
Local health departments are reminding residents that the mosquitoes in your birdbath can carry dangerous infections, from West Nile virus to Eastern equine encephalitis.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported two cases of West Nile virus in D.C. and two cases in Virginia last August.
The Virginia Department of Health says most people who are bitten by infected mosquitoes only have mild symptoms, and don’t need to see a doctor. But to prevent the serious cases, the Health Department says you should take precautions: use insect repellent, repair window screens, and get rid of standing water.