Posted: Jul 1, 2013 12:59 PM by Matt Jones
MANCHESTER - The heavy rains that fell in May and during most of June combined with the recent hot weather makes a perfect breeding ground for an annoying summer pest.
Combine standing water from heavy rain earlier in the season with hot daytime temperatures and you have the recipe for a bad mosquito season.
Despite this, Weed and Mosquito Superintendent Will Patterson and his crew have seen average larva in water samples that they've been testing so far and they are working hard to make sure things don't get out of hand.
"They're actively out monitoring all of the irrigation ponds, slack water from irrigation, streams, rivers, just other wet areas...monitoring those for larva and pupee and treating that area," Patterson said.
Crews have been placing down a granular poison that will help kill the larva and as the mosquitos hatch, Patterson says some other methods will be used.
"With the bacteria, you're treating the larva on the bacteria and trying to control them before they become to an adult and are flying and with the fogging and adultisiding, you're treating the adults."
Determining what method to use and when are challenges because of the various species of mosquitos in Montana, each peaking at different times during the summer season.
"For the next couple of weeks we'll have the peak of the flood water mosquitos then they'll start to decline. Later part of July into the first part of August is when your Culex mosquito is going to peak during that time. [It's] a warmer climate mosquito," Patterson explained.
Each variety also feeds at different times with the flood water mosquitos biting during the day and the Culex mosquito in the evening so it's best to be prepared anytime when heading outside during the summer.
"Make sure that you are dressed in long pants and long sleeves and also put some kind of repellant on that has a DEET base to it," advised Patterson.
He also wants folks to be mindful about standing water and to water lawns in the morning so that the soil and grass has time to dry out during the day.