Mosquitoes a Concern for Flood Evacuees due to Standing Water
In the summertime, pools of standing water are a natural breeding ground for mosquitoes, and with the 2018 Missoula flood, returning evacuees will have plenty of standing water to deal with.
Jerry Marks is with the Missoula County Extension Office, and is the county’s go-to guy for mosquito information.
“Their population depends on still water,” said Marks. “Normally, we do have some still water, but this year it’s a little worse because we’ve had high water a little bit sooner, and we’ve also had ground water pushing up which can leave lots of standing water, along with warmer weather, so mosquitoes need warm weather and standing water to build up their population.”
Marks said there are some possibilities with infectious diseases with mosquitoes.
“We do have mosquitoes of the culex genus, and those are known to be problematic with West Nile Virus,” he said. “They feed primarily on birds, but will move to two or four-legged mammals as we get into the season. We don’t have any mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus., but we do have those who can carry equine encephalitis which can be problematic for those who have horses.”
Marks encourages anyone who will be outside in mosquito infested areas to use proper body protection and repellent.