Blame Tropical Storm Lee for mosquito abundance in Chattanooga area

Blame Tropical Storm Lee for mosquito abundance in Chattanooga area

September 23rd, 2011 by Staff Report in News

A mosquito

A mosquito

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Mosquitoes may be plaguing the area because of the rain from Tropical Storm Lee the first week of September.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in still water, according to American Mosquito Control Association spokesman Joe Conlon.

And the storm left plenty of that, dumping 8 to 10 inches of rain in the area, WRCB-TV Channel 3 Chief Meteorologist Paul Barys said.

When storms move through, they often wipe out most mosquitos and larvae already in place, Conlon said. But the still water left behind becomes a breeding ground for mosquito larvae. Once the water starts receding, the larvae start hatching.

Conlon said it normally takes about 10 days for a mosquito to mature to adulthood, but it takes longer in lower temperatures.

"The higher the temperature," he said, "the faster the development will occur."

Under 65 degrees, mosquitoes stop being a problem, he said.

To fight mosquitoes, Conlon said residents should drain any standing water on their property, checking pet bowls, buckets, wheelbarrows and tires. Make sure folded tarps aren't holding water.

People should wear loose-fitting, dark clothing because mosquitoes can bite through tight clothes and they seem to prefer light colors. And people should use mosquito repellent to protect themselves, he said.

Connect with the Times Free Press on Facebook