Archive for Thursday, June 26, 2008

As mosquitoes multiply, experts say to take precautions

Richard Ziesenis, environmental health director for Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, throws "mosquito dunks," a biological object into the ditch near Broken Arrow Park to kill mosquito larvae. Heavy rains have added to standing water in the area, which can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

June 26, 2008


Heavy rains this year have left standing water in the usual places: North Lawrence and near Broken Arrow Park.

And those puddles and ponds are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

To guard against irritating bites and even worse - possible disease - people should use spray with DEET. Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department also is taking safety measures by dropping biological "mosquito dunks" into standing water to kill larvae.

"Obviously, we can't kill every mosquito in the world, so people really have to take care of themselves and protect themselves primarily," said Richard Ziesenis, director of environmental health for the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department.

The state has no reported West Nile Virus cases in humans or horses this year, but health officials usually don't start seeing those cases until August or September, which is the peak season for the type of mosquitoes that can carry the disease.

But the amount of standing water in eastern Kansas already has made conditions ripe for mosquitoes to come out in force in the early mornings and late evenings, said Ludek Zurek, a Kansas State University associate entomology professor.

The most important preventive measures are spraying yourself and your children with repellent that includes DEET. It's also critical to treat or remove standing water around your home, including in plant pots, said Kim Ens, the health department's disease-control program coordinator.

"Do whatever you can to protect yourself," Ens said. "We all have a responsibility to help protect our neighbors, too."

Joe Blubaugh, a Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokesman, said mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus don't need a lot of floodwater to breed, but just a small stagnant pool of water.

Lauren Jacobs, a Lawrence resident, has gotten rid of her family's kid pool, and she made sure her two daughters were equipped with repellent Wednesday morning as they played at South Park.

"(This year) is typical. It's irritating, but you just have to be very consistent about it because if they even get one chance I know they're all over us," Jacobs said.


monkeyspunk 9 years, 12 months ago

Three billion and counting baby.Thank you "Silent Spring"!

Haiku_Cuckoo 9 years, 12 months ago

I grew up in used to drag this fogger machine behind a tractor at night to kill them..and we would play in the 'fog". boy were we stupid.==========Inhaling a little DDT never hurt anybody. Remember, we also used to ride bikes without helmets and drink from the garden hose!

fan4kufootball 9 years, 12 months ago

Don't forget to make sure your dog(s) are protected as well. Mosquitoes can cause heart worms in dogs. Talk to your vet.

terrapin2 9 years, 12 months ago

autie-sorry about your dog. I am a vet tech and just wanted to say that heartworm preventatives do kill some intestinal parasites as well as the heartworms, but they don't kill all of them. For instance, Heartgard kills heartworms, roundworms and hookworms. Interceptor kills all of those plus whipworms. Neither of them kill tapeworms, for instance. Since there aren't good mosquito repellents out there for dogs, it is definitely best to keep them on a monthly heartworm preventative yearly for the rest of their lives.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 years, 12 months ago

And where do you think a huge cloud of mosquitos is coming from, especially if you live in south Lawrence, near 31st street..I will give you a bit of time.THE HASKELL SWAMP! (aka the sacred, holy, inviolable, "wetlands")There are city ordnances against public nuisances in the City of Lawrence, defined as "standing water and places where pests can originate".So WHEN is the lame-brained, gutless, spineless city commission going to have this noted public nuisance drained to remove the misquito problem??

terrapin2 9 years, 12 months ago

We used to live in MN and they still spray some for mosquitoes, but on a very limited basis. I'm not sure how they decide where/how much to spray, but I do know that spraying can be a double edged sword. You may kill the larvae of the mosquitoes, but you can also kill the larvae of many other species that help to eat the mosquitoes. Skeeters are bad here, but tolerable in comparison. Those darned 10,000 lakes!

terrapin2 9 years, 12 months ago

Did you read what I said ? I was talking about Wetlands in general, not the Haskell/Baker wetlands. And yes, environmentally speaking, wetlands do provide a service to the environment.

bigdave 9 years, 12 months ago

terrapin2 (Anonymous) says: "Wetlands provide a service"Ya somewhere to smoke crack drink beer and throw the cans in the water and have sex and throw all the rubbers all over!!!! I say drain and fill with asphalt them dam Haskell swamps!!!

terrapin2 9 years, 12 months ago

Do you think all 10,000 lakes in MN should be drained for causing a public nuisance? Wetlands provide a service to the environment and should not be considered a public nuisance in the same regard as an old tire holding water would be. I am not just talking about the Wetlands here (please don't start a huge SLT debate), but wetlands in general. Should we drain Clinton Lake for the people on the West side?

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