Just How Bad Are They? Entomologist Weigh in on Region 8 Mosquito Population

July 17, 2007 - Posted at 9:32 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR - -The mosquito population in Region 8 seems to be out of control....and a lot of people are asking just how bad are they?  K8 News went looking for the answer...and it's not good.

"What we've been seeing in the last few years has been a drought and mosquitoes have a unique biology that when the mosquitoes, the female mosquito lays their egg, they can become dormant in dry conditions," said Tanja McKay, ASU Assistant Profession of Entomology.

Region 8's sporadic rainfall in the last few weeks has played a major role in the mosquito population.

But battling the pesky insect may take more than just a swat.

"Going and doing some larvacide treatments where we have standing water, which is an issue.

Fighting those adults using another spraying tactic is what can be done," suggested McKay. Using the same insecticide treatment over and over again can create resistance problems.

But starting at the source can help alleviate the summer bite.

"Taking the leaves out of the gutters, making sure there is no standing water, birdbaths, and children's swimming pools is another issue," said McKay.

And even though it's only the female mosquitoes biting, it's little consolation when they are attacking.

"Mosquitoes are mosquitoes and no matter what the species, they are still going to be blood feeders, so really to the common person, it really doesn't matter what species we have, we would treat them all the same," said McKay.

McKay says Region 8 isn't the only place suffering from a surge in mosquitoes...Athens, Georgia is also battling the problem in pesky numbers.