Rain and mosquito season

June 23, 2009 5:02:40 PM PDT
In much of the country, it has been relentlessly rainy, one of the wettest and coolest Junes in years. The soggy weather is not only taking a toll on morale, it is setting the stage for a miserable mosquito season. The remnants of a rainy June are everywhere. But now, some states are bracing for the swarm after the storms.

All those puddles create the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

"All of that water is now the nursery to thousands, millions of baby mosquitoes that are going to be...flying around, looking for a blood meal," entomologist Peter Bosak said.

In most parts of the country, chilly spring temperatures have kept mosquitoes at bay. But experts say as soon as temperatures spike, so will the bugs. They're already seeing it.

"Mosquitoes have been extraordinarily prolific compared to the last couple of years," Bosak said.

In Maryland, field crews say that normally, when they're spraying, about 10 to 12 female mosquitoes will land on them a minute. Now, they say it's closer to 80 or 90.

New York officials are spraying pesticide at 140,000 sewers around the city. They're even asking cemeteries to ban graveside flower vases, saying mosquitoes only need a quarter inch of water to breed.

That makes the situation in places like Texas seem really bad. City workers are struggling to keep up with requests to drain the mosquito-infested pools of foreclosed homes.

The bumper crop of bugs is more than just an itchy annoyance. Public Health officials are closely watching for increased incidents of West Nile Virus, as local mosquito control officers continue to spray, fearful that we're not the only ones waiting for summer to finally arrive.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


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