Water levels and cold temps in coming weeks will determine severity of mosquito season

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 7:27 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Flooding continues to make impacts on communities across the valley, but not all of those impacts are immediate.

Ditches, fields, and parks have all been left with a wet reminder of our cool and wet start to spring. And while many are eager for the warmer weather, Cass county’s vector patrol has begun to assess how the mosquito population will look with these high waters.

“In past seasons in my experience when you have water like this, we might have some big challenges ahead.”

Director Ben Prather of Cass county vector control says that they’ve been to 2000 of their 7000 weekly inspection sites and that the number of mosquito larva found isn’t out of the ordinary, however it’s a situation that can change quickly.

“You can get a rain storm that comes in and put an inch to two inches of water down and you might have mosquito eggs to mosquito adult in 10 days. It’s really surveillance driven, it can change in a minute.”

While many mosquitos hatch out in the wild, don’t forget to look in your own back yard.

“A lot of people will leave watering cans out in their garden. Any type of standing water, a mosquito can breed like that.”

Prather adds that high flood waters don’t always spell out a bad season of bites, as our cooler temps in the days and nights will hold the mosquito eggs hatching at bay.

“I think how we’re sitting now we’re looking pretty good at least through memorial day weekend. I would ransom to guess out to early June hopefully we have good weather where you can go out and not get swarmed by anything.”

As for later in the summer, our mosquito numbers will be determined by conditions in the coming weeks.

“Meteorology is what drives the life cycle of mosquitos. If you can tell me its gonna rain on the 15th of June you’ll be the best mosquito control person probably on planet earth. Our job is to anticipate the problems not predict any certain problems and just be prepared.”

Prather says that of the ratio of inspection sites they’ve visited, less than 10% were producing mosquitos.

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