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April Rains Multiply Mosquito Population By 150%

"An average number of mosquitoes caught for an entire week [in the past] would be about 600, and we were seeing over 9,000."

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Photo: Creative Commons

Heavy rains during April have caused a huge increase in the number of mosquitoes in Indiana.

Heavy rains this April and May have prompted mosquito control teams to action. Jason Widner, Senior Team Leader for Marion County Mosquito Control, said that over the last few weeks the number of mosquitoes has skyrocketed.

“An average number of mosquitoes caught for an entire week [in the past] would be about 600, and we were seeing over 9,000. The real problem was the rain in April. The rain produced a lot of temporary pools and areas where the mosquitoes were able to breed,” said Widner.

Marion County has an annual budget of $1.2 million allotted for mosquito control; it is one of only two counties that has a year-round mosquito control program. The Public Health department there has started spraying for mosquitoes about two weeks earlier than normal. Jason Widner explained the process of ‘fogging,’which Marion county employs.   “It creates about a 300-foot swath,” said Widner.  “They drive about ten miles an hour, and these small droplets of pesticides will go out and hopefully hit and kill the mosquito.”

Mosquito control processes are not consistent throughout Indiana, though.  While in the past Johnson County has contracted with Marion County to help with spot treatment of mosquitoes, the counties of Hendricks and Johnson do not spray for adult mosquitoes at all, instead providing larvacide for mosquito eggs. In the city of Franklin, meanwhile, which has a budget of about $9,500, crews are sent out four times per week to spray.

Windner says if residents call in with their addresses, Marion County Mosquito Control will send out a crew to target their areas, spraying a perimeter around those addresses to treat for the pests.

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