School's out, and summer fun has begun - but with it comes that irritating itch.
Summer school teachers and their students are eager to get outside this summer, but along with sunscreen there's another must-have for playing in the park - bug spray. A long winter and quick spring have brought a wet start to the summer season, and a brutal beginning to mosquito weather here in the Coulee Region.
"Even in the middle of the afternoon, you notice things have been a little bit buggier," says Lindsey Pearson, a summer school teacher. "And I would say in the evenings, absolutely."
Dave Geske, the vector control manager with the La Crosse Health Department, says this season has seen a strong start. Flooding and standing water have helped magnify mosquito hatching.
"We get rainfall or a little ponding, flooding, and we get tremendous hatches, and it's hard to keep on top of it," Geske says.
According to him, the La Crosse County Health Department has already used more product to control mosquitoes this month than all of last year.
"If you don't address it, it makes the next few weeks pretty miserable," Geske says.
Despite an itchy start, this mosquito season could taper off a bit - it all depends on the weather.
"If it stays dryer, we don't have as much of a problem," says Geske. "If we continue to get rainfall like we've had, well, they're going to be bad."
Experts say the best way to keep mosquitoes at bay is to keep that bug spray handy. Also, maybe go a little lighter on the perfumes - bug are attracted to fragrances, along with dark-colored clothing.
Experts also suggest ridding your yard of any buckets or tires - those places make the perfect environment for mosquito hatching.