3:49pm

Wed May 18, 2011
Science/Health

Mosquitoes Make a Home in the Bluegrass

Depending on what happens next on the weather front, mosquitoes could find prime habitat in central Kentucky.  Record rainfall last month could also help increase numbers. The cool weather has slowed the emergence of mosquitoes, but once temperatures regularly reach into the 80s, Luke Mathias with Fayette County Environmental Health says mosquitoes will return.  A warm spell a week or so ago even probably had a few people scratching themselves.

“Mid May is probably the time you’ll start getting some mosquito activity with it really picking up the end of May start of June,” said Mathias.

A record 12 inches of rainfall on parts of the Bluegrass last month may have created some ripe breeding areas.  Mathias with says they might find standing water in some new locations.

“The areas that haven’t historically held water, held stagnant water and promoted mosquitoes may actually still be wet and provide areas for mosquitoes to lay eggs and increase the mosquito activity,” added Mathias.

This summer, Health officials will again use a spray that flushes mosquitoes out into the open.  Then, Mathias says they're more vulnerable to pesticides.

“It excites them, but it’s been shown not too excite them into a feeding frenzy, because we didn’t want that either.  You know, all the mosquitoes resting in the trees suddenly start to become active and look for blood meals.  It gets them out of the resting position and puts them in position for us to have a good yield of kills,” said Mathias.

Typically, Mathias says the biggest population of mosquitoes is found in late summer. The Health Department begins its anti-mosquito spraying effort in June.