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 July 23, 2010

News

Rainy weather not causing mosquito problems

Mosquito populations at Fort McCoy have not recorded significant gains even with heavy rains over the past several weeks, but installation Entomology/Pest Management staff still encourage members in the community to remain vigilant.
PHOTO: Harley Sampson Jr. checks for mosquitoes in a drainage ditch in the 1600 block. Members of the installation community are encouraged to take precautions to combat threats of the insects. Photo by Rob Schuette
Harley Sampson Jr. checks for mosquitoes in a drainage ditch in the 1600 block. Members of the installation community are encouraged to take precautions to combat threats of the insects. Photo by Rob Schuette

David A. Olson and Harley Sampson Jr., environmental technicians for the Fort McCoy Entomology/Pest Management Office, said the biggest threat of mosquitoes exists in the usual damp areas, such as bodies of water, low-lying areas, forested areas, or drainage ditches. Olson and Sampson are contractors for the Directorate of Public Works for Joint Venture McCoy.

“Generally, you need sustained rains that stay around for about two weeks,” Sampson said. “That gives the mosquitoes a chance to develop from the egg to larva to the adult stage. Although the rains have been heavy, the water has been draining into the ground within two weeks, so we haven’t had a big problem with mosquitoes.”

People can help combat any residual problems by taking the proper precautions and ensuring they don’t create any unintentional water havens where mosquitoes can breed and multiply, he said.

Mosquitoes generally are at their peak points outdoors at dawn and dusk. Olson said wearing long-sleeves and pants while outdoors or in field areas and applying insect repellent, such as Permethrin on clothing and DEET on exposed skin, should help protect personnel from mosquitoes, and wood and deer ticks and the diseases they may help spread.

Receptacles or containers that could hold water for two weeks or more also should not be left unattended, he said. Potential unintended containers may include, but are not limited to, tires, boats, wading pools, bird baths, tarps, buckets, cans or plastic cartons/bottles, etc.

“If you have something like this, the best defense is to check it and empty it if it has stagnant water,” Olson said.

To report areas/sources of stagnant water, or to get more information about mosquito control at Fort McCoy, call the Entomology/Pest Control Office at 608-388-2557.

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