Abundant rainfall means abundant mosquitoes

By Justin Logan - bio | email

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT) - Across Region 8 we started off with a very wet spring and that has continued into the summer. Jim Stark, supervisor of Vector Disease Control, said they started spraying sooner.

He said, "All the rain we had in the early spring it started off early this year. Usually mosquitoes don't get bad till about June. We started early probably about the first of May this year."

With standing water usually comes more mosquitoes. That means more hours for Vector Control.

Stark said, "In a situation like this we do spray more.  We stay out a little later at night.  We usually try to shut down at 12:30am or quarter to one. But now we stay out about an hour later at night now and we are spraying six nights a week."

Stark said in addition to trucks, they've launched an aerial assault on the mosquitoes. They're using airplanes to spray the surrounding area. While recent rains have contributed to the surge in mosquitoes, they're not the only reason.

Stark said, "The majority of Jonesboro's problem unfortunately is the agricultural. There's something like 12 to 18 thousand acres of rice. When that rice goes to permanent flood that's when the mosquitoes start hatching and every seven days you'll get a hatch off the rice fields."

There are some things you can do around your house to help prevent the pests.

Stark said, "Dump water about every four days from bird baths, dog dishes, anything that's holding water is more than likely going to produce mosquitoes."

If you have to be outside you need to take some precautions.

Stark said, "You need to wear light colored clothing, preferably a long-sleeve shirt if you're going to be out there awhile and you can use off or any other brand that's out there."

Stark said that mosquitoes usually become inactive when temperatures go below 55 to 58 degrees.

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