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Flooding and higher temperatures become a perfect storm for mosquito breeding

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Storms in early May brought large amounts of rain to the Ozarks, causing flooding in some places. And there is still a lot of standing water in low areas.

Add warmer weather to it. It arrived with temperatures reaching the 80s, which happens to be the ideal temperature for mosquito activity. Skeeters work best at 80 degrees, become sluggish at 60 degrees, and don’t work below 50 degrees.

“There are two important components to mosquito development,” Claborn explained. “Standing water and temperature. So in our current situation with lots of standing water due to flooding and higher temperatures this week, the water is going to warm up and hatch the eggs. So yes, I expect to see a nice crop of mosquitoes over the next week. »

“The bad news is that we’re likely to see more mosquitoes due to the humid weather and warm temperatures,” Barbe added. “The good news is that most of them don’t carry the disease. There’s only one race of mosquitoes in Missouri that carries the disease we see here called West Nile virus. Last year there were only 11 cases of severe West Nile disease in Missouri and only one death About 80% of people don’t even know they’ve been infected About 20% have a illness they recognize, much like a cold or the flu. These are body aches, fever or a headache. But if the headache becomes more severe or there are changes in mental state , confusion, dizziness, etc., you should seek medical attention.

As for treating a mosquito bite?

“If you experience itching, swelling or redness the best things are cool compresses and even a home remedy of baking soda mixed with a little water to make a paste that you can put on it to reduce these symptoms” , replied Barbe. “Unfortunately, treating symptoms doesn’t have much of an effect on whether or not they progress to disease. But the vast majority of mosquito bites will not be contagious. »

And did you know that mosquito habitats influence their biting habits?

“You can divide mosquitoes into two groups,” Claborn pointed out. “One is a group that will emerge from artificial containers like flower pots, old tires and things like that. These mosquitoes bite very easily during the day. keep away from man-made containers.The other group that emerges from ditches and standing water tend to bite in the evening.The best thing to do to avoid mosquito bites is to wear long-sleeved shirts and some kind of repellent.

And an essential thing to do is to eliminate standing water that attracts mosquitoes in your garden or house.

“The amount of water a mosquito needs to lay eggs and for larvae to develop is small enough to fit in the cap of a plastic Coke bottle,” Claborn said. “So it’s very important to get out into your garden and find those little things that are holding water. If you have large fields, try draining them. You can put biological insecticides which are gentle enough for the environment. If this is a recurring problem, put some kind of plant in it that really sucks up water. In my garden, I use mammoth sunflowers to suck up all the water from the soil.

Claborn also warned of another bloodsucking pest that attacks humans, pets, livestock and wildlife.

They are tiny flies known as biting midges.

“These are things where you’re sitting on your patio enjoying a glass of tea in the evening and getting those stings, but you don’t see anything,” Claborn said. “These are probably biting midges. They usually come out of muddy areas and bite around 30 minutes before sunset to 30 minutes after sunset. And the mosquitoes will soon come behind them.

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