THE BRONX - May marks the start of mosquito season and some states are already reporting their first cases of West Nile virus.

After a mild winter, mosquitoes are expected to be out in full force this summer. Officials are reminding everyone to protect themselves by eliminating standing water near their homes, including pet water bowls and kiddie pools.

If outdoors, remember to keep the bugs at bay with spray and lanterns, and try to wear long sleeves or pants if you'll be outdoors at dusk or dawn.

Signs of West Nile virus are similar to the flu and include headaches, achiness, extreme exhaustion, fever and disorientation.