The flooding and rains this spring ensure a bumper crop of mosquitoes. Iowa State University Extension entomologist Ken Holscher says the biting bugs we see this time of year are called “floodwater mosquitoes,” but the name’s only a coincidence.He says that’s not the kind of environment the floodwater mosquito develops in. It hatches in puddles after rain. Holscher says a lot of people are wondering whether the wet spring will mean more mosquito-borne illness like encephalitis. He says it’s usually the year after a flood that there are enough disease-carrying mosquitoes to be a problem. Holscher says the focus of mosquito control seems to be changing to specialized attacks on the mosquito population instead of citywide chemical spraying programs.He points out nowadays, you don’t see airplane spraying much over towns. Property owners can tackle mosquito-breeding sites in their own yard, but your neighbor had better do it, too. Holscher adds instead of bug poison, newer techniques use chemicals that stop them from breeding.Holscher says they target the larva before it becomes an adult. There are some chemicals that are so specific, they’ll prevent mosquitoes from developing, but not affect other water plants or animals. That approach is more labor-intensive, but Holscher says it works well.
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