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Mother Nature dumps rain, increases mosquito population

By Nadine Maeser, nmaeser@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 08 2013 08:50:13 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 08 2013 11:37:20 PM EDT

Last week it flooded streets and homes and left water puddles in a lot of places. That could bring some unwanted visitors, mosquitoes.

ROANOKE, Va. -

Southwest Virginia is finally seeing some relief from the rain. Local neighborhoods were flooded and the rainfall left standing water in many areas.

Now, we’re seeing some unwanted visitors.

"We always have some mosquitoes but usually not like this," said Barbara Leach.

Leach is a horticulture technician for the Virginia Cooperative Extension in Roanoke.

Leach said people really need to be proactive in protecting themselves at this point in the summer season.

Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance, but they also carry diseases.

"We've had far more mosquito calls this year significantly because of the rainfall than any other year, I'd say, in the last ten," said Chris Nininger.

Nininger is the owner of the Bug Man Exterminating Company in Roanoke and he said business has been busy this summer.

Many homeowners and businesses have been left with standing water in backyards and very few options of how to keep the bugs out.

"I think it’s going to be a matter of time and a little bit of sunlight and a break from the storms we've been having for the ground to not be so saturated," said Nininger.

It doesn't take much for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.

In fact, experts say it can happen in two tablespoons worth of water so puddles are the perfect breeding ground for the bugs.

Female mosquitoes are the ones that bite and draw blood from humans, but the population is so high this year, that it makes our area more vulnerable to diseases.

"They can lay a single egg on water or up to what they call 100 in a raft, where they are connected, so between one and a hundred," said Nininger.

As long as the rain keeps coming, so will the mosquitoes.

"It just depends upon the weather and we are getting into July and August so there's are our two hot months so this could all come to a screeching halt and they we will be crying for rain," said Leach.

While there's not much you can do about the standing water in your yard, you can do other things to prevent them from laying eggs.

Be sure to empty any water from gutters, buckets, tarps and even children's toys.

Nininger offers services to help control mosquitoes. His crew can come to your home and spray your backyard that will kill the mosquito eggs before they hatch.    

Mosquitoes will look for any water to lay eggs and once they do, it only takes a few days for them to hatch.

According to the Virginia Cooperative Extension, the city of Roanoke and Roanoke County have no intention of spraying local neighborhoods for mosquitoes this year.