Past trends don't predict mosquito population

(Source: Vector Disease Control International)
(Source: Vector Disease Control International)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Many people have been saying that it seems mosquitoes are worse in Region 8 this year than in the recent past.

But Kenneth Cofield with Vector Disease Control International in Jonesboro said Thursday that they are spraying about the same amount as they were this time last year.

"A lot of the mosquito population depends on the rice harvest and when they actually pump water on the rice," Cofield said.

Which means it fluctuates a lot during the summer.

Weather is another big factor. Right now, with the extreme heat, the mosquitoes have actually decreased.

"The heat stresses them out just like it does us," Cofield said.

When looking at Vector's Adult Mosquito Surveillance Summary, it shows the number of mosquitoes in their traps being up from 2016 at the last observed date in late June.

There was also a large spike in mosquitoes last August.

Cofield said they don't base their population estimate off of that, though.

"That's no indication of what's it going to be this year," he said. "The weather plays more in it than anything does. The extreme temperatures like I said slows the mosquitoes down. We've had what I'd call a wet season for the summer and standing water plays a big part in the mosquito population."

Cofield said the best thing someone can do to decrease mosquitoes around their yard is to get rid of the standing water whether it be in buckets, lids, or old bird baths.

You should also make sure to weed eat the yard because mosquitoes like the shade that weeds provide during the day.

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