ENVIRONMENT

Floodwaters could bring a new type of mosquito this spring, summer

Apr 19, 2023, 6:11 AM

Mosquitos at a Utah lab are pictured....

Vector control intern Abby Pickett sorts mosquitoes by type at the Salt Lake Mosquito Abatement laboratory in Salt Lake City on Thursday, May 27, 2021. (Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

MURRAY, Utah — With spring around the corner, Utahns are already getting bugged by mosquitos, and the flooding is expected to bring a lot more of them.

Wildlife officials said the Kennecott Nature Center alongside the Jordan River hasn’t been a mosquito problem area the last few years, but this year is different.

“We’re going to be very, very busy,” said Daniel McBride, Assistant Director of the South Salt Lake Valley Mosquito Abatement District.

McBride explained that the animals that live in this natural wetland, like fish and frogs, usually keep the mosquito population in check. But this year, mosquitos are coming out of their hibernation stage with a lot more water for reproduction.

“Because they kind of naturally lay their eggs in flood zones, because we’re expecting to have more flood zones, we’re going to have much, much more of these flood water mosquitos,” he said.

And these floodwater mosquitos are also more aggressive as they bite harder and hurt. Luckily, they don’t carry diseases that could hurt humans.

Mcbride said the kind of mosquito that carries West Nile Virus like permanent water sources and containers filled with water.

“Buckets, gutters that haven’t been cleaned out, maybe an old horse trough, maybe even a cup you left out when you were playing outside. Get rid of that water,” he warned.

Meanwhile, mosquito abatement teams are working to remove standing water. And Mcbride warns homeowners to do the same.

“The problem is not necessarily the flooding, it’s about the two weeks after the flooding. It’s all the places that the water kind of settles and sits,” Mcbride said. “That is the prime breeding areas for mosquitos.”

Related: Climate change might bring more West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes

 

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Floodwaters could bring a new type of mosquito this spring, summer