Mosquitoes coming sooner, larger numbers

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

HARRISBURG, AR (KAIT) - "Well I can't stand to be outside with them for too long, that's for sure," said Bryan Warren. Jonesboro resident Bryan Warren says he's already fighting the biting. "They just swarm you pretty good, so I just took off running from them," said Warren.

A pesky problem made worse by standing water. "It's prime breeding ground for the mosquitoes," said Tom Royals, at Vector Disease Control.

Unfortunately after weeks of flooding across Region 8, there's a lot of that stagnant water around. "It kind of boosts up the mosquito population a little bit earlier in the summer than in normally does," said Royals.

Royals says that's exactly what we're seeing now. "I've seen full ditches and they're running and now they're getting to the point that they're stopping. When they stop, that's when the mosquitoes start.  That's why we're seeing them early," said Royals.

The city budgeted right at 400 thousand dollars," said Jonesboro Mayor, Harold Perrin.

That's the cost to battle the biting bugs.   A figure Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says that hasn't changed in several years.  Another constant? The city paying to try to help control the mosquito population.

"It's always been a budgeted item when I was on the council 16 years ago, mayor for 2 and a half, and I'm sure it will continue," said Perrin.

Bryan Warren says because of an increased amount of water, he's not surprised by the increased number of mosquitoes.

"I got a feeling it's going to be a lot worse," said Warren.

While there's not a lot that can be done about standing floodwater, Royals does say for those yards that aren't flooded make sure there's nothing that can collect water like trash piles or buckets.   That can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  If you have a bird bath for example, make sure the water is fresh.  Mayor Perrin says unless something out of the ordinary happens, he doesn't expect to pay more in mosquito control this year.  The city has a contract with Vector, as do many other cities across Region 8.

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