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Mosquito population down compared to last year as crews set up traps in EBR, WBR Parishes

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BATON ROUGE - Crews in two different parishes are already setting up traps to battle the West Nile virus as spring and summer are expected to bring more mosquitoes to the South.

Crews have placed about 20 traps throughout West Baton Rouge Parish alone. The traps will be checked every two weeks so experts test local mosquitoes for West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases.

About 300 samples have been collected so far in 2018. This same time last year, an estimated 2,600 samples had been collected.

George Bragg with West Baton Rouge Mosquito Control says these numbers aren't indicative of what's to come.

"The highest concentration of West Nile samples that we get is going to be normally June, July and August," Bragg said. "That's going to be your peak season and then toward September and October it kinda starts ramping down. But that's normally the curve."

Over in East Baton Rouge, the number of mosquitoes is also down compared to last year. So far, 62 samples have been collected compared to last year's 612.

Experts say the low numbers can likely be attributed to the colder-than-average winter, but the mosquito population will likely spike again with the warmer weather.

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