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Last night's freeze probably took care of mosquitoes, too

A hard freeze expected overnight Friday into Saturday morning won't be good for gardeners in southern New Hampshire, but it could lead to the mass murder of mosquitoes.

&#';Hopefully, it'll kill them all,&#'; joked Mike Kistner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

Freeze warnings were issued for central and southern areas Friday night through this morning, posing a threat for plants left outside and unprotected.

Mosquito experts say a hard freeze usually kills the bulk of mosquitoes, bringing an end to threats from those infected by Eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus.

While northern regions have already seen temperatures dip well below freezing, the rest of the state was expected to experience its first hard freeze, with the mercury dropping into the mid-20s.

&#';Anyone who still has plants or flowers outside should definitely have covered them up or brought them inside. Chances are they won't survive it,&#'; Kistner said.

Temperatures should rebound a bit, climbing into the 40s to low 50s across the state today, before warming into the 70s by Monday, Kistner said.

The freeze is coming a couple of weeks later than normal. Kistner said the average date for the first hard freeze for the state is Sept. 29.

jschreiber@newstote.com

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