SDSU specialist: It's not too soon to use DEET Mosquitoes are already active and area residents should use repellents containing DEET to protect themselves, a specialist said.
"It's already warm enough for insects to start flying," South Dakota State University Extension Entomologist Mike Catangui said. "The most common vector of West Nile Virus, the western encephalitis mosquito or Culex tarsalis, is already active because it can winter in South Dakota as an adult."
Catangui said it's important to remember that South Dakota had 1,041 cases of West Nile Virus illness in humans last year, resulting in 14 deaths. People became ill from the mosquito-borne virus in every county of the state.
"It's not too early to use DEET," Catangui said. "When human health is at stake, we had better err on the side of caution."
Always follow label directions, Catangui said.