Mosquito numbers decline - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Mosquito numbers decline

August 25, 2005

Valdosta - Dr. Mark Blackmore studies mosquito activity in Lowndes County, but lately, he hasn't been so busy. "They're much less noticeable, they're aren't as many of them out flying around," said Blackmore.

Daily afternoon thunderstorms have cut his work by more than half. "We were submitting well over 300 pools a week just a few weeks ago and this past week, its been just over 100," said Blackmore.

Mosquitos thrive in warm, wet weather, so you'd think all the rain we've seen this month would boost their numbers. Instead, its done just the opposite. "When we have constant rain all the time, in some of the mosquitos the rain will actually wash out the eggs so we don't get a lot of hatching you'd see otherwise," said Blackmore.

The rain is also drawing other insects who help control the pests. "Dragon flys and some of the predatory insects that are in water bodies will eat the larvae when they're hatching out," said Blackmore.

It's a welcomed decrease for South Georgians, but Blackmore says we shouldn't become complacent just because the numbers are dropping. "All it takes is one bite from the wrong mosquito and you can get pretty sick," said Blackmore.

And although the season for Eastern Equine Encephalitis is winding down, this is the most dangerous time for West Nile Virus. "The highest numbers we've seen in this part of Georgia usually come in late summer and early Autumn," said Blackmore.

So while we may be able to enjoy more time outdoors, its still important to take all the precautions to protect ourselves from these disease carrying pests.

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