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Lack of moisture leads to fewer mosquitoes

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 8:22 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:17 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Even with the higher temperatures, many are enjoying the outdoors as it seems the mosquitoes have taken a hike.

“I may have been bit by one or two this year compared to like how it was two years ago,” said Dakota Ratcliff, an employee of Mid-South Grassroots.

Ratcliff’s partner, Jacob Weatherley, said he has not seen any mosquitoes at all.

Normally, mosquitoes are common in Northeast Arkansas during the summer, but not this time around.

Dr. Tanja McKay, professor of entomology at Arkansas State University, said there can be a few reasons why.

“It’s hard to pinpoint without actually doing some research and some science,” she said. “It is very warm. We have had very, very little moisture, very little rain, and that might be influencing what’s happening.”

McKay said female mosquitoes are the ones to look out for because they’re the ones doing the biting.

There are several species of mosquitoes in Northeast Arkansas, including the Asian Tiger, which are more likely to be found in our backyards.

McKay explained mosquito breeding grounds can be anywhere water accumulates, including around plants and in pots.

“It just takes a little bit of water in order to get a good abundance of mosquitoes,” she said.

McKay added mosquitoes need water to lay their eggs, so the smallest amount from a bird bath, a kiddie pool, or even a bottle cap can breed multiple mosquitoes.

She said everyone can take part in controlling mosquitoes by various means, with the easiest being getting rid of stagnant water.

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