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Weather impacting local mosquito populations, says local entomologist

IOWA – Summer is typically mosquito season, but you may have noticed fewer flying around. 

Iowa State University Extension Entomologist Donald Lewis says mosquito populations are largely driven by weather, and the lack of standing water is having an impact.

“There were mosquitoes that could be found earlier in the season, but as the drought worsened across much of the middle of Iowa, the mosquito populations declined as well,” Lewis explains. “So right now, the mosquito numbers are very low and will stay that way until we get ample rainfall to fill up water basins and temporary impoundments where the mosquitoes can reproduce and replenish the supply.”

The rain we saw over the weekend could have an impact, but Lewis says it will be variable depending on where you are, how much rain you received, and how frequently you receive rain from now on.

There are things you can do to reduce the local production of mosquitoes. The first, eliminate any standing water in things like birdbaths or buckets. Secondly, use repellents if you have to be outside when mosquitoes are biting.

Lewis says thankfully in Iowa, there are no major risks with mosquitoes carrying diseases.

“The biggest issue with mosquitoes is the annoyance that they bite. It may cause you to itch for a prolonged period of time, for some of us the itch is fairly temporary,” Lewis said. “But if you stay in Iowa, the risk of diseases from mosquitoes is very low.”

Cities are doing what they can to control the mosquito population. Mosquito spraying will begin in Urbandale this week.

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