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You're not imagining it, the St. Louis mosquito population got a big boost

Flooded areas provide breeding ground for biting bugs.

ST. LOUIS — "After the rains we did see an increase in what are called nuisance mosquitoes or flood plain mosquitoes," James Sayers said.

Sayers' team works to manage the mosquito population in St. Louis County. He's the Environmental Manager for St. Louis County Public Health's Vector-borne Disease Control.

More biting bugs at the end of summer is annoying, but it's not all bad news. "We have not seen any increase in the disease carrying mosquitoes with those rains," Sayers points out.

Nuisance mosquitos are just that, "They're actually active during the day whereas the disease carrying mosquitoes are active primarily at night at dusk and dawn."

Flooding is definitely one factor for the recent numbers, but the time of year also is. Sayers confirms, "There is a little bit of an increase in activity before it gets cold."

Most mosquitoes follow the seasons and we have a ways to go before the quiet months. Sayers says 50 to 60 degrees is the sweet spot, "We will start seeing activity as soon as temps warm up into the 50s and 60s and it will continue through the fall, sometimes early winter, until the temps drop into the 50s and 60s again." 

Cooler fall weather is around the corner, but before then, the more dry days, the better. "Despite the high numbers of rainfall we saw," Sayers recalls, "it did not stick around too long, a lot of those places are dried up and no longer breeding."

If you feel like your area is inundated with the biting bug, you can call St. Louis County Vector-borne Disease Control at (314) 615-0680. Team members will talk residents through mosquito prevention and point out things they can do around their homes to alleviate issues. 

St. Louis County Vector Control will only spray if disease carrying mosquitoes have been detected in your area.


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