Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...or chomp on that campfire wienie...or frolic in the lush green grass...stop. Here's a Notebook update on the critters that can spoil your summertime fun:
MOSQUITOES Weird wet weather in late spring followed by tropical heat is blamed for record mosquito infestations as health officials brace for more cases of encephalitis, West Nile fever, E. coli and other skeeter-borne maladies this summer.
DIRTY WATER Each year animal and human feces contaminate pools, rivers, even fountains with Giardia, shigella and more. Part of Colorado's Aurora Reservoir was closed last week because of E. coli.
SHARKS Reported attacks were at a 42-year global high last year. Just last week an eight-year-old Florida boy had an arm torn off by a bull shark.
TICKS "Summer's hitchhikers" will cause an uptick in Lyme numbers this year, say doctors. In fact, the first case was just confirmed. Because of recent reports that Lyme is easily curable if caught early, the public may be complacent.
SALMONELLA & FRIENDS Food-borne illness peaks in summer. Cold food in the sun is a danger--potato salad especially--or meat not thoroughly cooked.
SEA LICE Thought to be tiny jellyfish larvae, they'll sneak into your Speedo and leave hundreds of itchy bites. They're back at southeastern and western Florida beaches after a 20-year hiatus.
ARMY WORMS Previously a problem in the South and Midwest, this summer they've infested the Northeast big time. They'll eat your lawn in a day.
STINGRAYS A blue flag on Florida beaches indicates stingrays may be submerged in the sand. A recently stung woman reported the pain was akin to childbirth. To keep them away: shuffle your feet.
BIG BROTHER 2 CBS reality series was almost hooted off the air last summer. But it's back again--this time, the network threatens, with more sex.