Rainy Weather Creates Perfect Mosquito Breeding Ground

[MNStudio / Shutterstock]
Insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and clothing helps keep mosquito bites to a minimum. [MNStudio / Shutterstock]

The wet start to summer will mean more mosquitoes for Fourth of July barbecues.

Joe Lynch, program manager for mosquito control at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, said he expects a large hatch later this month.

"We've already had some adult mosquitoes flying around for the last month or so, but because of all this rainfall in early June, we can expect a lot more mosquitoes flying around at the end of this month," Lynch said. He's urging residents to get rid of areas of standing water near their homes, or at least the stagnant pools that that they can control. Some properties, especially in rain-soaked Medina, Summit and Ashland counties, have been awash from flooded streams, creeks and local lakes.  

Mosquitoes aren't just a summer nuisance. They are also carriers of illnesses like West Nile virus, which can cause a serious, sometimes fatal, illness

"We also have a problem in Northeast Ohio with La Crosse encephalitis," Lynch said. "That is caused by the treehole mosquito [Aedes triseriatus], which is typically in suburban areas."

La Crosse encephalitis (LACV), while rare, is typically seen in children under the age of 14 and most cases have been reported from upper Midwestern, mid-Atlantic and southeastern states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"This mosquito likes to use artificial containers such as buckets, wheelbarrows, gutters, tires, et cetera, to breed," Lynch said. "So that's why it's important to eliminate standing water in artificial containers around the home."

There were a combined total of nine cases of West Nile and La Crosse encephalitis reported in Cuyahoga County for 2018, according to the board of health.

Lynch said he's got two crews out every day throughout Cuyahoga County responding to complaints and treating areas of permanent standing water.   


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